Jacksonville Social Security Disability Lawyers
Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, benefits can help offset the financial burdens you experience when struggling with a debilitating medical condition. Many claims are initially denied. However, you can improve the odds of a victory by working with an experienced Jacksonville Social Security Disability attorney. Turn to Farah & Farah for help.
If you suffer from a physical disability or debilitating illness and cannot work, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, benefits. At Farah & Farah, our Florida Social Security disability lawyers can help you at every stage of the process, whether you are applying for the first time or fighting a denial of benefits.
Farah & Farah has provided top-tier legal support and representation to injured workers in Jacksonville for more than four decades. We’re highly-respected Florida trial attorneys with a proven ability to help our clients navigate the most stressful and trying times of their lives.
Call our law office in Jacksonville, Florida, at (904) 549-6434 to discover the benefits of working with our award-winning legal team. Your first consultation is free.
Choose Farah & Farah to Help You Get SSDI Benefits in Jacksonville
The Social Security Disability claims process can be overwhelming. Even minor mistakes or omissions can result in a denial, adding to your already stressful situation.
Fortunately, you do not have to go through the claims process alone. By hiring an experienced Jacksonville personal injury attorney to help, you can rest assured that the Social Security Administration will get a thorough, complete, and compelling claim.
At Farah & Farah, we know SSDI case is more than paperwork and process—it’s your life.
Here are a few of the reasons you’ll want to work with Farah & Farah:
- Our law firm has been a leading advocate for injury victims and families in Jacksonville since 1979.
- We embrace our home-grown roots by staying active in the community through service and donations.
- Our attorneys have been voted “Best Lawyer” in Jacksonville by Folio Magazine and recognized as top trial attorneys in Florida.
- Our case results are a testament to the hard work we do.
- There’s no cost to hire our SSDI attorneys unless we help you receive benefits.
- Our client-centered approach means we’ll treat you with the respect and attention you deserve, not just as another case file.
We’re the attorneys you’ll want fighting for you, but you don’t have to take our word for it. Former client reviews and testimonials emphasize our commitment to treating every person we represent with honesty, dignity, and respect. You deserve nothing less when navigating such a challenging time in your life.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help. Your initial case review is free.
What to Expect When You Hire Our Jacksonville SSDI Lawyers with Your Claim
Take time to focus on rehabbing your disability and figuring out how to move forward with your life. Let our experienced Social Security Disability lawyers in Jacksonville handle your pursuit of compensation for you.
Count on our skilled legal team to:
- Review all the eligibility factors, such as your type of injury or disability and whether you’ve worked jobs covered by Social Security.
- Gather all the necessary medical evidence and documents to support your claim, obtain opinion statements from your health care providers, and collect any test results that may be vital in winning your case.
- Prepare and submit the claim to the Social Security Administration.
- Ensure that all procedural requirements and filing deadlines are satisfied.
- Represent you during all hearings before decision-making bodies.
- Appeal your disability claim if it is denied.
Put our experience to work to ensure you get the benefits you earned.
What Is Social Security Disability Insurance?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is a federal agency that provides income and disability benefits to elderly and disabled Americans.
There are two types of Social Security disability programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Social Security Disability Insurance is a program that pays benefits to people who have suffered a serious injury that prevents them from earning a substantial income or their family members in the case of a fatal workplace accident. The person or family member must have worked long enough, recently enough, and must have paid Social Security taxes on their earnings to qualify.
Supplemental Security Income is a program that pays benefits to adults and children when there is a qualifying disability and a demonstrated need based on limited income and resources. The SSI program is available regardless of whether individuals have worked or paid into the Social Security system.
What’s Considered a Disability Under Federal Law?
The SSA oversees the SSDI program and defines a disability as a medical or health condition that “is expected to result in death or significantly limits your ability to do basic work-related activities” for a minimum of 12 months.
The SSA has established a list of qualifying disabilities for adults. These include, but are not limited to, the following conditions:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Traumatic brain injury
- Non-healing complex fractures
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic heart failure
- Chronic liver disease
- Brain tumors
- Cerebral palsy
- Cystic fibrosis
- Severe burns
- Vision impairment
- Hearing loss
- Major depressive disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Non-mosaic Down Syndrome
Your disability does not have to be work-related to qualify for SSDI benefits. You may have suffered your injury at birth, in a workplace accident, or developed a disease due to genetic predisposition—it doesn’t matter. If your disability is severe and you satisfy other requirements, it will be sufficient for SSDI benefits.
Your condition does not have to be listed on the SSA’s schedule of disabilities for you to qualify for SSDI benefits. However, it can make the claims process easier. If your condition is not listed, you’ll need to provide substantial medical evidence regarding the extent and severity of your condition, as well as its overall impact on your inability to work.
For those in Florida, Florida’s Division of Disability Determinations is responsible for determining whether your medical condition allows you to qualify for benefits under the federal program.
What Are Social Security Work Credits?
With limited exceptions, Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are only available to workers who have paid federal taxes and contributed to the Social Security system.
However, qualification further depends on the amount of time you’ve worked, how recently that work was performed, and the wages you’ve earned. This is all tracked in the Social Security work credit system. You earn work credits based on the amount of time you work and the income you earn. You can earn up to four work credits each year.
For 2023, you’ll earn one work credit for every $1,640 of earnings, up to four credits per year.
In most cases, you’ll need 40 work credits, 20 of which have been earned in the last 10 years, to qualify for SSDI. However, the work credit requirement can change based on special circumstances like age.
How Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability in Florida?
Understanding what the SSA considers when reviewing a claim for SSDI benefits can help you during the application process. Your eligibility for benefits depends on the answers to the following questions.
Are You Currently Working?
SSDI benefits are only available to individuals who cannot work because of a severe disability. Your claim will likely be denied if you earn over $1,470 monthly.
How Serious Is Your Medical Condition?
Your medical issue must be severe, meaning it prevents you from engaging in basic work activities, such as sitting, standing, or lifting. The condition must have affected your ability to work for at least 12 months.
Does the SSA Recognize Your Medical Condition on Its List of Disabilities?
The claims process can be easier when the SSA recognizes your medical condition on its list of disabilities. If your condition is not listed, your claim will likely require more scrutiny from decision-makers.
Are You Capable of Working?
Even though you’re not working, the SSA will want to know if you can work. Could you work in a different capacity or hold down another job? If so, the SSA may decline to approve your claim for SSDI benefits. It’s important to know that currently, the SSA uses an outdated vocational list to determine if you are able to work.
What Are the Most Common Reasons for SSDI Denials?
According to the Social Security Administration, about two-thirds of all SSDI claims are denied. The agency explains that some of the most common reasons for denials include the following:
- The applicant has a disability that is not expected to last for more than 12 months.
- The applicant has a disability, but it is not considered severe.
- The applicant is capable of working in either their normal position or another job.
Other reasons for denied SSDI claims include the following:
- Disability is related to drug or alcohol addiction.
- Insufficient evidence of a disability.
- Insufficient medical evidence.
- Failing to follow prescribed treatment and recovery protocols.
- Insufficient work credits.
- Failing to appear at a disability hearing.
- Failing to disclose physical and mental conditions.
You can increase the odds of a successful result by working with an experienced Jacksonville disability lawyer from the beginning of the claims process. At Farah & Farah, our team will be with you every step of the way. We’ll ensure you have the appropriate documentation and enlist the help of experts and specialists to support your pursuit of benefits.
What Can I Do If My SSDI Application Is Denied?
You’re not out of options if your claim for SSDI benefits is denied. In fact, according to our Jacksonville Social Security Department Manager, Erin Floyd, “Most cases get approved at the hearing level.” You will need to work with your lawyer to appeal the initial decision and denials of benefits.
- The first appeal is called a Request for Reconsideration. You must file this appeal within 60 days of receipt of notice of the denial.
- If your claim is denied after Reconsideration, you can file an appeal and request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge, or ALJ. The ALJ will hold a hearing and review your claim and any additional documents, information, or testimony you offer.
- If the ALJ denies your claim, you can appeal the decision to the Appeals Council. If the Appeals Council decides to hear your case, it can overturn the ALJ or remand the issue to the lower court.
- If the Appeals Council denies your claim, you’ll have one final opportunity to appeal. This appeal is essentially a lawsuit against the SSA in federal court. Here, a federal judge at the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida in Jacksonville will review your claim and make a final determination.
Appeals can be complicated, time-consuming, and stressful. Don’t try to navigate the appeals process on your own. You can get peace of mind and increase the odds of a successful outcome by calling our SSDI lawyers in Jacksonville at (904) 549-6434 for help.
Social Security Disability FAQs
It’s good to have questions about Social Security Disability Insurance and your rights as a claimant. After all, the process can be complicated and intimidating. Farah & Farah has the answers you need.
Can I Receive Disability if My Condition Isn't Listed by the SSA?
Yes, but your case will require more scrutiny. When reviewing your claim, Florida’s Division of Disability Determinations will consider medical records, documents provided by your health care providers, statements from your doctor, and medical opinions from independent medical professionals.
They’ll carefully scrutinize your condition and determine whether it can be considered severe enough to warrant benefits through the SSDI program.
As long as your disability is severe and substantial evidence supports your claim, you can still qualify for SSDI benefits.
What Are Disabled Adult Child Benefits?
SSDI benefits aren’t just available to injured workers. Benefits can also be paid your unmarried adult child who suffered a qualifying disability before age 22.
These benefits are based on their parent’s contributions to Social Security rather than their own. So, the work credit requirement does not apply.
Disabled Adult Child, or DAC, benefits can commence when the claimant’s parents begin to collect retirement benefits or die.
What Are Widow or Widower Benefits?
There are also situations when a spouse or former spouse can qualify for SSDI benefits.
Widow or widower benefits, or DWB, can be paid if a worker dies and the spouse is at least 50 years old but not older than 60 years old and suffers a qualifying disability within seven years of the worker’s death.
DWC benefits are based on the deceased worker’s Social Security contributions rather than the claimant’s.
Can I Still Get Benefits if I Go Back To Work?
Yes, it is possible to receive benefits and return to work. The Social Security Administration understands that you might need to test the waters and see if you really can return to work in a meaningful capacity.
So, you can continue to receive benefits for a limited period. Typically, the trial period can last up to nine months. This way, you won’t have to reapply for benefits if it turns out that you cannot return to work after all. However, you will need to make the determination of whether you can return to work within the 9-month trial window.
Should I Wait Until My Claim Is Denied to Hire an Attorney?
No. While an attorney can certainly help you appeal your claim, putting your best foot forward from the start is important. When you hire an attorney, you’ll have an experienced legal professional helping you build your claim from the ground up. Your attorney will help you gather the appropriate documentation, construct a compelling claim, and even enlist the help of respected experts and professionals to provide added support.
Minor mistakes can result in a denied claim. You want your claim approved or denied as quickly as possible the first time around. After all, time is money. The longer you’re waiting for an answer, the longer you’re forced to struggle with the financial burdens of your disability on your own.
Call Our Trusted Jacksonville Social Security Disability Attorneys for Help Today
Call Farah & Farah if you are struggling with a medical condition or disability that prevents you from engaging in meaningful work in Jacksonville, Florida. You may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, and our award-winning legal team is here to help you get the money you need and deserve.
Since 1979, our Jacksonville disability lawyers have been fighting for injured workers and helping our clients win benefits. Now we’re ready to help you work toward a meaningful financial recovery.
Contact our Jacksonville, FL, law office at (904) 549-6434 to get started. Your initial case evaluation is free.
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