Being chronically ill or injured is a difficult situation. Many people work their whole lives to be able to provide for themselves and their family. Others have been disabled since birth.
Whether a person has recently become unable to work, or has struggled with a disability since childhood, Charleston social security lawyers can help. Injury attorneys in Charleston are available to work with clients every day to evaluate their cases, file the necessary paperwork, and fight to get them the benefits they deserve.
Qualifying Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability Benefits are separated into two main categories:
- Social Security Income (SSI)
- Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)
SSI benefits require that a person be unable to participate in any substantially gainful activity. It also requires that this disability can be expected to result in death, has lasted, or can be expected to last, for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.
There is no requirement that the applicant have any work history. In addition to the medical requirements, there is also a rule that states that a person must be of limited resources. The vast majority of a person’s personal assets must be exhausted to quality for SSI. The limit for a single person is $2,000 worth of assets, while a married person can have $3,000. There are additional requirements that can be found in certain circumstances.
SSDI differs from SSI in that there is a requirement that the person worked in the past, but compensates for this in that there is no asset calculation. The medical requirements are the same since the disability must have lasted, or be expected to last, no less than 12 months. More information about SSDI can be found by using a social security attorney in Charleston.
Contrary to popular belief, to qualify as “disabled” as defined by the Social Security Administration, a person must be unable to perform any work for at least 30 hours a week. Just because someone cannot do what they used to do, does not mean that they cannot perform at another job, even if that job pays a much lower salary.
For example, a former roofer who has a degenerative disk issue in their back will need to demonstrate that their condition prevents them not only from roofing, but from performing a desk job.
Another common misconception is that people need to have a physical injury to be disabled. The reality is quite the opposite. Many applicants have successful claims based solely on mental conditions such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.
In these cases, an applicant will need to demonstrate that the effects of the mental condition are severe enough that the person cannot perform any job on a full-time basis.
Lastly, a person’s medical conditions must be under consistent care by a doctor. Simply having a diagnosis is insufficient.
A pattern of care, either through surgery, therapy, or medication is needed to demonstrate to the Social Security Administration that not only is a person’s condition real, but also that treatment has not provided a substantial improvement. This information can be effectively gathered by a Charleston social security lawyer.
Benefit of an Attorney
The process of applying for SSI or SSDI is a complicated and lengthy one. The paperwork is dense and can be confusing. Gathering the necessary medical documentation from doctors’ offices is tedious.
Charleston Social Security attorneys are there to help every step of the way. Whether you have been denied in a previous application or are thinking of applying for the first time, contact an attorney today.