Memphis TN Disability Benefits Lawyer
Although it may not be so pleasant to think about, there may be a time in your life where you become disabled and unable to work and earn a satisfactory income. Unfortunately, the chance of becoming disabled may be higher than you think, as studies show that a worker has, on average, about a 25 percent chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement. Fortunately, if you do become disabled, you do not have to go live on the streets, as the Social Security Administration offers satisfactory disability benefits for the American men and women who need it most.
The application process for disability benefits is quite extensive, and it can, therefore, help to have an experienced and competent Social Security lawyer on your side who’ll make sure that you have the proper documentation and who’ll represent your interests in a disability hearing, if applicable.
Who Can Receive Social Security Benefits
As a guidepost, the Social Security Administration provides benefits to individuals who have a incapacitating disability that is expected to last at least a year or result in death. This is essentially the Federal law’s strict definition of disability. As such, you should not expect disability benefits from the SSA if you have a partial disability or a short-term disability. To receive disability benefits, you’ll also need to take two different earnings tests, including:
• A recent work test that is based on your age at the time of acquiring the disability
• A duration of work test showing that you have worked long enough under Social Security
In other words, these tests check to make sure that you’ve worked enough (and contributed enough to Social Security) to be eligible to receive government benefits. For example, if you became disabled before you were 28, then you’ll need about 1.5 years of work. If you’re disabled at 30, you’ll need about 2 years of work. If you’re disabled at 50, you’ll need about 7 years of work.
Also, it is important to note that certain family members may qualify for benefits based on the work you’ve completed. For instance:
• Your spouse, if he/she is 62 or older
• Your spouse at any age, if he/she is caring for a child under 16 or disabled
• An unmarried child (including adopted, step, or grandchild), who is younger than 18
• An unmarried child 18 or older, if he/she has a disability that started before he/she turned 22
Applying for Disability Benefits
Because the SSD application process takes, on average, around a year (even longer when appealing a denial), you should apply for benefits as soon as you’re disabled. Simply processing the initial application takes about three to five months, and the SSA generally denies about two-thirds of applications. When applying for benefits, there is a miscellany of information you’ll need, including:
• Your social security number
• Your birth or baptismal certificate
• All related medical information, including the doctors, physicians, therapists, hospitals, diagnoses and prognoses, and caseworkers, among others
• Any related medical records
• Laboratory and test results
• A summary of where you have worked and the kind of work you did
• A copy of your most recent W-2 or federal tax returns
In the application, you need to also make it clear that because of your disability, you are unable to conduct your current job, other similar jobs, or any job in general.
Contact John E. Dunlap for a Free Consultation
At our Memphis law office, we have helped hundreds of individuals in the area with their SSD applications, and we are happy to say that we’ve helped truly deserving people receive the benefits they are entitled to. If you’re applying for disability benefits, a prominent SSD attorney is essential to making sure the process moves smoothly and that you provide all the information you need to receive benefits. For a free consultation with John E. Dunlap, call our Memphis law office today at (901) 320-1603.