Social Security Disability: What Is It & How to File A Claim

Nothing in life is a guarantee. We go to college, learn a trade, and find our way in the world to earn a living and support ourselves and our families. The thought of needing Social Security Disability doesn’t typically cross our minds. We think we are invincible and that nothing bad will ever happen to us. We do not believe we will ever need to know the answer to the question: “What is Social Security Disability?”

But, in life, things happen that we have no control over, be it an accident or an illness. What would happen to you and your family if suddenly you were unable to work and earn a living? Even in a two-income family, the loss of a steady paycheck can have devastating financial repercussions. This is especially true if the inability to work is expected to last for an extended period or even the rest of your life.

Fortunately, the federal government provides much-needed funds for individuals and families in the event of accidents or illnesses in the form of Social Security Disability for those who qualify.

What is Social Security Disability?

Social Security Disability is a payroll tax-funded federal insurance program of the government. It is funded by the contributions of anyone who holds down a job and pays taxes. Each payroll period, there is a deduction made from your wages that contributes to the Social Security fund. In addition, your employer makes a contribution for every employee in the same amount as the employee’s contribution.

This fund is designed to provide income to individuals who have been employed and contributed to the fund throughout their work-life and suddenly find themselves unable to work.

Social Security Disability benefits can be paid on a temporary or a permanent basis, depending on the nature of the person’s disability, and are based on the number of contributions made throughout the lifetime of work.

How to claim social security in Florida?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has an online platform to file for Social Security Disability benefits. There is quite a bit of information needed to file a claim, including employment details, job history, a list of medical conditions and your doctors, healthcare providers, hospitals, medications, recent test results, and related information. A full listing is on the Checklist for Online Adult Disability Application at the SSA website. Representative documentation that the SSA may ask you to provide includes:

  • Birth certificate or other proof of birth;
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the United States [more Info];
  • U.S. military discharge paper(s) if you had military service before 1968;
  • W-2 forms(s) and/or self-employment tax returns for last year;
  • Award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements, or other proof of any temporary or permanent workers’ compensation-type benefits you received

Once you have all the information, you will complete the Disability Benefit Application and the Medical Release form.

Alternatively, if utilizing the online platform is not the best option for you, a claim can be filed for Social Security Disability benefits at a local SSA office in Florida.

How do I check the status of my social security claim?

The process of getting approved for benefits takes time. It can take months – or even up to a year to be heard by an administrative judge. The SSA does allow you to check the status of your Social Security Disability claim on their online platform.

What to do if my social security claim was denied

Many individuals who submit a claim for Social Security Disability benefits are initially denied. This is not uncommon. Fortunately, just because someone is initially denied does not mean your case is over. The SSA allows you to appeal the denial where you can apply for reconsideration, and you and your attorney can present your case to an administrative judge.

A hearing will be conducted where you are allowed to present a witness for your case as well as a vocational expert to provide testimony and vocational evidence for your ability to work. Social Security Disability attorneys are experienced in trying cases and cross-examining vocational experts.

My claim was denied. Do I have a case?

Understanding “What is Social Security Disability?” and who it is intended to benefit is key to knowing if you have a case. Not all individuals who apply for benefits qualify. According to the SSA, people who can apply for benefits:

  • Are age 18 or older
  • Are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record;
  • Are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death: and

Proving your medical condition and inability to work is key to a favorable outcome after your claim has been denied.

When to Contact a Social Security Disability Attorney

Due to the significant impact of medical conditions and the financial needs of individuals and their families, people who need Social Security Disability benefits are advised to contact an attorney as soon as possible in the process.

Whether you are initially applying or have been denied benefits, an attorney will work closely with you throughout each step to obtain the medical and vocational evidence necessary to support a favorable outcome on your behalf.

Golden Key Law Group is ready to help. We offer assistance to our clients with filing for Social Security Disability benefits and work with them through the system until their benefits are approved. We have experienced attorneys with the knowledge and skills you need in the development of your claim and as your legal advocate in administrative hearings in front of the judge and to cross-examine witnesses.

Call 727-317-4738 today to set up a free consultation with a Social Security Disability attorney. Golden Key Law Group charges no upfront fees to help you or a loved one maneuver through the system, and no attorney fees or expenses are charged to the client unless you receive a favorable outcome.

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