Please note that Gade & Parekh, LLP remains open at this time during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are currently accepting new clients and are actively assisting our current clients with all ongoing case needs. Although we are unable to meet with clients in person at this time, we are happy to conduct appointments by telephone or video conference for the safety of our clients and staff. We remain dedicated in providing caring and personalized legal representation.

Roseville SSDI Attorney

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How Do I Prove My Disability?

Roseville SSDI Lawyer

Developing a disability can turn your world upside down. You might have to adjust to a new normal way of life. Even worse, your employment could be affected by your new disability. If your disability impacts your job, then it might be worth contacting a Roseville SSI benefits lawyer to see if you qualify for income from the Social Security Administration.

While you might be familiar with Social Security retirement benefits, you may be unaware that there are other types of benefits given specifically to individuals with disabilities, even if they are not at retirement age. Applying for additional benefits based on your medical condition or disability could drastically improve your quality of life.

Roseville SSDI Attorney

Why Should You Choose Gade & Parekh, LLP?

Security benefits for our clients. Our legal knowledge, combined with familiarity with the Roseville local courts, can give you a unique advantage when filing your SSDI claim.

Our supportive and caring staff ensure that the copious amounts of paperwork needed for an SSDI claim are filled out effectively and on time to reduce your mental load. We pride ourselves on quick and compassionate communication with our clients and guide them through every step of the claim process.

How Do SSI and SSDI Differ?

Before learning how much you may be entitled to, it is important to understand what types of social security income are available. The two main forms of social security benefits are Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). They have different requirements and provide different types of benefits, including:

  • Eligibility: SSDI is specifically for people with disabilities that prevent them from working on a long-term (1+ year) basis. SSI is for people with limited income who are blind, over 65, or disabled.
  • Work Requirements: A person’s work history does not impact whether they are eligible for SSI, but it does impact their eligibility for SSDI. You need different amounts of time in the workforce depending on your age:
    • Individuals under 24 need to have worked for at least 1.5 years out of the three years before the disability occurred.
    • Individuals between 24 and 31 need to have worked for around half the time between when they turned 21 and the time they developed a disability. For example, if someone develops a disability around their 27th birthday, then they need to have worked for at least three years since the time they turned 21 six years ago to qualify for SSDI.
    • Individuals over 31 need to have worked for about half the time in the ten years leading up to their disability, so at least five years.
  • Types of Disability: The types of disabilities that are eligible for SSI are not necessarily the same as the types that are eligible for SSDI.
  • Benefit Amounts: SSI has a maximum benefit cap, while SSDI is calculated based on work history and your earnings before developing a disability. In both cases, the amount of benefits you receive can change depending on changes to your health status or household.

In short, SSDI is meant for individuals who have recently lost their job due to a disability, while SSI applies to a wider variety of individuals with limited resources. It is possible for some people to qualify for both SSI and SSDI, but this does not apply to everyone. It’s important to discuss your individual situation and what you are entitled to with a legal professional.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer?

Dealing with a disability can be incredibly stressful, regardless of income. If your employment has been affected by a disability, then it is extremely important to receive benefits quickly to cover medical and living expenses. Unfortunately, submitting incomplete or insufficient paperwork can get your request denied or significantly delayed.

Seeking legal counsel can expedite the claim process and increase your chances of approval without the need for an appeal. A supportive legal team can help gather and prepare documents for you while you navigate the specifics of your disability. If an appeal is needed, having an encouraging legal team behind you can increase your chances of success.

What Is the Five-Year Rule for Social Security Disability?

If your SSDI claim is approved, there is a minimum five-month waiting period before you start receiving benefits. However, if you have already been through the SSDI system, you might be able to skip this waiting period. If the following criteria apply to you, then you can skip the five-month waiting period the second time you apply for SSDI benefits:

  1. You have previously applied for and were granted SSDI benefits within the last five years.
  2. You resumed employment and stopped collecting your SSDI benefits.
  3. Your circumstances changed, and you need to reapply for SSDI benefits.

How Are SSDI Benefits Calculated?

Unlike SSI benefits, SSDI benefits are mostly calculated based on your previous earnings before the onset of a disability. Instead of using raw income data, they use Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME) to determine how an individual’s wages need to adjust based on future increases in the cost of living.

Currently, the cap on SSDI earnings is around $3,600 a month, but the average person receives around $1,300-$1,400 a month. If you receive additional benefits, they can affect your SSDI payment because the combined amount cannot be over 80% of the average monthly income you made before developing a disability. Additional benefits that affect your SSDI payments include:

  • Worker’s Compensation: This includes benefits from public agencies as well as employers.
  • State Benefits: If Social Security taxes have not been deducted from your earnings, then any state or local benefits you receive can reduce your SSDI payments.

Benefits from the Veterans Administration or from SSI are not considered when calculating your SSDI payment.

What Types of Disabilities Qualify Someone for SSDI?

The Social Security Administration has a strict definition of what disabilities count for SSDI payments. A disability must be severe enough to limit the amount of work you are able to do for at least a year. There is a long list of disabilities that typically qualify for SSDI benefits, but the most common are:

  • Musculoskeletal System and Connective Tissue Disorders: This category includes things like arthritis, scoliosis, fibromyalgia, ruptured discs, or carpal tunnel. Almost a third of people who receive SSDI benefits have a type of disability that falls under this category.
  • Mood Disorders and Cognitive Impairments: Psychological conditions like bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder fall under this category, as well as learning disabilities like Down syndrome and fetal alcohol syndrome.
  • Nervous and Circulatory System Disorders: Diseases like meningitis and polio and disorders like multiple sclerosis and Bell’s palsy affect the nervous system for extended periods of time. Conditions like strokes, heart failure, and arrhythmia are qualified as circulatory system disorders if they are severe enough to limit employment-related tasks.
  • Other Common Disabilities: Just because your disability isn’t mentioned on this list doesn’t mean you don’t qualify for SSDI benefits. Things like injuries, tumors, and other mental disorders sometimes qualify for benefits as well. If you are unsure about your specific condition, it’s helpful to work with an attorney to determine whether or not you should apply for benefits.

The SSDI Claim Application Process

The beginning stages of an SSDI claim are similar for everyone. Additional steps may be necessary for certain individuals depending on the Social Security Administration’s response. Generally, the process is as follows:

  1. An application is submitted with the necessary documents. These documents include information on your identity, your employment history, and details about your disability.
  2. Once an application is submitted, the local Social Security Administration will review your documents to ensure that you meet the minimum requirements for SSDI payments.
  3. If the application qualifies for further processing, it then goes to the state Disability Determination Services office for the final decision.

For some, these three steps will result in receiving SSDI payments. However, others might have their application denied. If this happens, there are still ways to ask for a second opinion, but it must be done within 60 days of receiving your decision. There are four different steps in the appeals process:

  1. Reconsideration: If your request was denied due to the specifics of your disability, you would file a reconsideration for a medical reason. If your request was denied due to something other than your disability, like length of employment, you would file a reconsideration for a non-medical reason.
  2. Hearing: If your request for reconsideration is denied, you can appeal this decision by requesting a hearing from a judge. Just like with the reconsideration request, there are two separate requests for medical and non-medical hearings. If you want a hearing specifically about the details of your disability, the judge might require medical experts to testify.
  3. Hearing Review: If you do not agree with the decisions made during a reconsideration or hearing, you have the right to ask the SSA’s Appeals Council to review the decision.
  4. Federal District Court Action: The last pathway to an appeal is to file a case with the Federal District Court. In this case, you would be filing a complaint directly against the SSA and their lawyers.

What Information Will I Need to Start My Claim?

In order to file your claim, you will need certain information, including:

  • Personal Information: This includes your name and Social Security number as well as the information of any spouses or minor children. You will also need your banking information. In some cases, a birth certificate or other proof of citizenship can be requested.
  • Medical Information: It is helpful to provide contact information for an additional person who can verify your condition. You also need to provide information like dates and locations of treatment, any medications you’re taking, and what laboratory tests you’ve received. It’s helpful to locate records like lab reports or medical paperwork you already own before starting the paperwork.
  • Employment Information: You need information about the jobs you’ve held for the past 15 years before the date you had to stop working due to your disability. If you’ve received any benefits like worker’s compensation, retirement, or insurance benefits, that documentation is needed as well. Additional required documents include any W-2s or self-employment tax forms from the past year.

Finding and organizing the documents necessary for a claim can be time-consuming and taxing. This process can be done with the help of a disability lawyer to ensure all of the documents are correct and complete the first time they’re submitted.

How Do I Prove My Disability?

If you file a claim for SSDI, then you will need to show some form of evidence that you have the disability you claim to have. Objective medical evidence is required to prove that the disability actually exists, but it is possible to have evidence from non-medical witnesses to prove the severity of that disability.

If this evidence is insufficient, sometimes, the court will request a consultative examination (CE). This can be done by the claimant’s own medical provider or an independent provider appointed by the SSA.

How Much Will My Case Cost?

There is a standard fee for SSI and SSDI cases set by the government, which is 25% of your back benefits up to $6,000. Back benefits or back pay is the amount of money you receive for the time between the date you filed your case and the date your case was approved. Back pay is normally received after the five-month waiting period once your case is approved.

This means Gade & Parekh, LLP will not charge you until your case is approved. The only other fees associated with this process might be incurred when an attorney obtains updated medical records or other documents, and there is a fee to retrieve them.

Reach Out to Gade & Parekh, LLP, for a Qualified Roseville SSI Benefits Lawyer

At Gade & Parekh, LLP, we strive to treat each client with empathy and dignity. We understand how difficult filing for SSDI and SSI payments can be and aim to provide support throughout the entire process. Contact us for a consultation to find out how we can help you receive benefits.

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