If you are not able to work as a result of an injury or a medical condition, you may be entitled to obtain benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). To obtain these benefits, however, it is advisable that you consult with an Arizona social security lawyer.
Three Reasons You Need a LawyerThere are many ways that an Arizona social security lawyer can assist you if you are disabled. However, three of the most important reasons why you need an Arizona social security lawyer include the following:
1) Your Arizona social security lawyer will help you to determine what benefits programs you are eligible for
There are several different disability benefits programs that are available from the social security administration. These include Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD or SSDIB), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disabled Widow’s or Widower’s Benefits (DWB) and Disabled Adult Child (DAC), also called Disabled Child Benefits. Supplemental security income is for low income individuals who have few or no assets. SSDIB, DWB and Disabled Adult Child benefits are forms of disability insurance paid for by workers through payroll deductions. It is not an income based program.
The definition of disabled is the same for each of these programs- but eligibility requirements differ. To qualify for SSI you must be indigent within the requirements of the law and regulations. The others require insured status which is obtained by the payment of FICA taxes. DAC benefits requires that the disability of the adult child have begun before age 22 and that the wage earner whose account the benefits is based is disabled, retired or deceased. DWB requires the spouse to be deceased and the widow(er) be between age 50 and 60. An Arizona social security lawyer can help you to determine which program or programs is right for you.
2) Your Arizona social security lawyer will help you to apply for benefits
The SSA has a very narrow definition of disabled in order to qualify for benefits. It also denies the vast majority of applications that they receive. Having an Arizona social security lawyer advising you on what types of proof you need to show you are disabled can be invaluable.
The SSA, for example, will not approve a claim for benefits unless your condition has lasted for a year or will last a year. You also need to submit appropriate medical evidence establishing your condition meets or equals a Listed impairment or that you have a medically determinable impairment that can cause disabling symptoms. However, the SSA is not bound to accept the evidence you submit.
3) Your Arizona social security lawyer will help with the appeals process
The majority of claims for social security disability benefits are denied by the SSA. However, there is a multi-stage appeals process that will give you another chance to get benefits. In order to appeal, you’ll need to make a request for reconsideration within a designated time frame. You will then need to have a hearing if your request isn’t approved, and if the hearing doesn’t go your way, you will need to seek review by the Appeals Council. Finally, if you still haven’t had a claim approved, you can appeal to the federal court.
Many law offices and disability advocacy groups do not assist their clients with appeals to the Appeals Council or to the federal courts – and others will not assist claimants that they didn’t represent at the hearing level – so it is important to determine this at the outset so that you aren’t left without knowledgeable assistance when you need it the most.
An Arizona social security lawyer will assist you with all stages of the appeals process to help ensure you get your appeal in on time and to help make sure that you have the best chance of an approved claim.