When you are disabled and have a sufficient work history, you may be entitled to claim benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits have strict eligibility criteria, and the process can be difficult to navigate alone.
If you have questions about Las Vegas SSDI claims, you should speak with an experienced SSDI attorney who can help you better understand whether you qualify for these benefits. Even if your case does not qualify you for SSDI benefits, you may have other options that a knowledgeable legal professional at Shook & Stone could help you explore.
Overview of Work Requirements for SSDI Claims
There are two primary types of disability benefits that you can claim from the SSA. SSDI is the more well-known of these federal programs. The other is the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. SSI is even more selective than SSDI and has very different eligibility criteria because it is based on need rather than the applicant’s work history. To qualify for SSDI, you need to fulfill two baseline requirements.
First, you must have worked at jobs that allowed you to pay into the Social Security system. Second, you must have a qualifying disability. However, each of these requirements has more involved eligibility criteria. Most individuals pay into the Social Security system through payroll or self-employment taxes. In doing so, employed and self-employed individuals accumulate work credits every year, up to four in a calendar year.
The minimum number of work credits required and how recently these work credits should have been accrued before the disability will depend on your age. For example, applicants who are 31 or older will typically need to show that they have earned 20 work credits or more in the ten years leading up to their disability.
Moving on to the second criterion for SSDI claims in Las Vegas, which is having a covered disability. Not only must your disability fall under the recognized list of conditions outlined by the SSA, but it must be a total disability. This means that you should no longer be able to work as a result of your disability. Your claim will likely be denied if you can still work part-time at your current job or perform other work. The SSA requires that your qualifying disability prevent you from engaging in substantial gainful employment, keep you from doing prior work or any other work, and must also either last for at least a year or be fatal.
Collecting SSDI Benefits
A range of disabling conditions may qualify someone to submit an SSDI claim in Las Vegas. These include neurological disorders, mental disorders, cancers, organ disorders, and muscle disorders, to name several categories of conditions that the SSA recognizes. In addition to extensive medical evidence, the SSA requires in-depth information to show that your condition is a total disability that prevents you from working at a meaningful level.
If you do not provide sufficient evidence, the SSA may determine that your condition does not qualify or that you have not worked recently enough to recover benefits. Denials of first-time applications are extremely common. Even after approval, there is a five-month waiting period before benefits are paid out.
It is extremely beneficial to have a qualified lawyer helping you fill out all the necessary forms and ensuring that all required information is included the first time around. If you are denied the first time, that does not mean you should lose hope or keep applying repeatedly. Repeating applications instead of launching an appeal can increase your chances of getting denied again.
A seasoned attorney at our firm can walk you through the entire application process and make sure that all available evidence is included in your SSDI claim documentation. If you are denied, our legal professionals can also assist with the entirety of the appeal process, which can go from an administrative hearing to federal court in some cases.
Talk With a Las Vegas Attorney About Your SSDI Claim
A long-term or permanent disability can uproot your life and compound your worries for the future. If you qualify for SSDI, these benefits could help alleviate your financial concerns.
However, Las Vegas SSDI claims are notoriously complex, and denials are frequent. You should work with a lawyer who could help you avoid potentially costly mistakes, make sure the paperwork is filled out correctly, and advocate on your behalf at hearings and other procedures. Give us a call today to speak with a knowledgeable attorney about your specific situation and find out more about filing an SSDI claim.