Princeton Social Security Disability Attorney
The Bayless Law Firm helps disabled workers in southern West Virginia apply for and receive disability benefits from Social Security. If a work injury, car accident or other personal injury has left you disabled and you cannot work, you may be entitled to disability benefits from Social Security. Social Security Disability Insurance, also known as SSDI or just SSD, is a program set up to help disabled workers who can no longer work. When you consider all the money that was withheld from your paycheck for Social Security (FICA) every month that you ever worked, fifteen cents of every dollar withheld went into the SSDI program.
All this makes it sound like you paid premiums into an insurance program, so if you become injured or disabled, you are entitled to be paid your benefits. While this may be technically true, unfortunately getting money from Social Security is not that easy. The Social Security Administration has very strict definitions of disability that it interprets very narrowly. In fact, anywhere from one-half to two-thirds of all claims for SSD are initially rejected by Social Security!
What it takes to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits
When you apply for benefits, the Social Security Administration goes through a complicated five-step process to determine your eligibility, taking into account factors such as your work history, physical and medical condition, your age, education and skill levels. Being “disabled” for the purposes of Social Security means you must be able to prove all of the following:
- You have become permanently disabled from working, or your earning capacity has become significantly diminished for the rest of your life
- You have medical certification demonstrating either that your injury is permanent or that it is expected to last for at least a year or eventually result in death
- You have enough earnings to qualify for SSD, considering how much and when you have worked
If you meet this definition and have been working for five out of the past ten years and have accumulated the required amount of work credits, then you may be eligible for benefits. Benefit amounts are based on several complicated formulas which take into account your lifetime average earnings and how much you have paid into the system.
Don’t Give Up Your Rights to Social Security Disability
Many people give up when they find out their application has been denied. Some people don’t know they can appeal this decision, while others simply think it can’t be worth it to try to fight an enormous bureaucracy like Social Security. The truth is that there are many steps you can take if your application for benefits has been denied, including:
- Requesting a Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge
- Requesting a Review by the Appeals Council
- Filing a lawsuit in Federal District Court
- Filing an appeal in the Federal Circuit Court
The process for obtaining Social Security Disability benefits can be frustrating at times, but if you have a valid claim, there is no reason why you should give up trying to collect your benefits until you have exhausted all the options available to you. At the Bayless Law Firm, we will advise you of your options and let you know if you have a valid claim for benefits. We can take your case on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t have to pay any legal fees unless we are successful in recovering benefits for you. From Princeton to Charleston and throughout southern West Virginia, if you have been denied Social Security Disability benefits, contact the Bayless Law Firm for a free consultation with an experienced and successful Social Security Disability lawyer.