If you have become disabled, you no doubt are facing an overwhelming number of questions, not just about your health but about the type of benefits you can receive so you can continue to contribute to a family income. The Jacksonville Social Security attorneys at Farah & Farah can help answer the many questions and provide a helping hand to make sure none of the important tasks fall between the cracks.
Be sure to apply for disability benefits by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or begin the application process online at www.socialsecurity.gov.
Here are some of the questions we frequently encounter:
What do I need to know about my disability?
I was hurt in a car accident but should be able to return to work. Should I file for Social Security disability benefits?
How will they determine if I am disabled?
A: If you have a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or longer or result in death, you may be eligible for Social Security benefits. You must have recent work based on your age at the time you became disabled and a duration of work to show you worked long enough to qualify under Social Security law.
A: You must be able to answer questions about your medical condition such as when it began, how it limits your ability to work, what medical tests and treatment you have received, and what they conclude.
You will be asked if you are working. If you are and make over a certain amount each month, you generally will not be considered disabled. You must be able to answer whether or not your medical condition limits what you can do. For example – can you sit, walk, and talk? Can you remember what you are told?
Lastly, it will be determined if your medical condition is on a List of Impairments that describe disabilities so severe that you are automatically qualified as disabled by law. They include impaired growth, musculoskeletal system impairment, and sense and speed impaired.
Q: I was hurt in a car accident but should be able to return to work. Should I file for Social Security disability benefits?
A: Yes, if you expect that your injuries will keep you out of work for at least a year you should file for Social Security disability benefits.
A: Social Security will look at your medical records and consider your health problems, your age, education and work experience. It will be up to Social Security to determine if you can do the same work you did in the past. If you are unable to fulfill the requirements of the job you previously held, Social Security is supposed to decide whether there might be some other job you can do considering the limitation of your health, age, education, and work experience.
A: You do have the opportunity to appeal any decision you disagree with. Do not be surprised as only about 40% of claims are approved. If you are turned down and still do not expect to return to work in the near future, you should file an appeal, that is, a request for reconsideration. Your case then goes to a different disability examiner to make a new decision. Expect a denial at this stage as well because on average, about 80% of reconsideration decisions are also denied.
You have the right to a Social Security lawyer and Farah & Farah will be honored to discuss your case. If you plan to appeal, you must file that request in writing within 60 days after you get the letter denying your claim.
There are four levels of appeal and it is at this point that you should have a Florida Social Security disability attorney by your side because the stakes are high.