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What Is Social Security Disability?
Social Security Disability (SSD or SSDI) is a program that provides monthly cash benefits to those who are disabled and unable to work. A decade ago, the Social Security Administration provided SSD benefits to almost 11 million disabled workers, their eligible spouses, and their dependent children, paying out an average of $1,150 per month to those who qualified. For many disabled individuals, SSD is their only source of income, therefore, the approval process can be very important. To qualify for SSD, you must have sufficient work credits—including in your recent work history. In other words, the jobs where you worked must have taken money from your check for Social Security.
As of 2023, you earn one credit for every $1,640 in income (wages or self-employment) and you can earn up to four credits per year. Generally speaking, you will need forty credits, with twenty of them having been earned in the past ten years, although younger disabled workers can qualify with fewer credits. Your medical condition must also meet Social Security’s strict definition of a disability, and even if your application is approved, that approval may take a while. There is also a five-month waiting period after approval.
If your approval process takes longer than is typical, you could receive a lump sum of SSD benefits for as many as 12 months. Benefits for SSD usually continue until you can return to work on a regular basis. If you reach full retirement age while receiving disability benefits, those benefits will automatically convert to retirement benefits, with the amount remaining the same. SSD pays only for total disability—not short-term disability or partial disability. The definition of a total disability under SSD rules includes:
- You are unable to work and engage in “substantial gainful activity” as a result of your physical or mental disability
- You can no longer do the work that you previously did, and you cannot adjust to other work because of your disability and/or your age
- It is expected that your disability will either last for at least a year, has lasted at least a year, or will likely result in death
It can be extremely beneficial to have a knowledgeable Montgomery disability lawyer from the Carmichael Law Group on your side when you are struggling to secure needed benefits.
Why Speak to a Nationwide Montgomery Disability Lawyer from Carmichael Law Group?
Having an experienced Montgomery disability lawyer from Carmichael Law Group on your side can make all the difference in the outcome of your application for benefits. We will ensure that your application is complete and submitted in a professional, timely manner, and that any appeals are filed in the same way. With the Carmichael Law Group on your side, your chances of having your initial application, your reconsideration, or your subsequent appeals decided in your favor are significantly higher. Having a nationwide disability attorney from the Carmichael Law Group as your advocate ensures that your rights will be protected from the beginning to the end of the process, as we fight for the benefits you need and deserve. When you choose the Carmichael Law Group, you will receive:
- A law firm that truly cares about every client
- A nationwide SSDI firm that helps disabled people no matter where they live
- A free consultation where you can have many of your questions answered and get a good idea of your chances of approval
- A firm that has more than 300 positive Google reviews
While you could certainly file your initial application on your own, your chances of an initial approval are relatively low without the assistance of a knowledgeable Montgomery disability lawyer from the Carmichael Law Group, LLC. If you are already in the appeals process, it is even more imperative that you have an experienced attorney from the Carmichael Law Group in your corner. Not only will we ensure that you are fully prepared for the appeals process, but we will secure medical and vocational experts that will provide beneficial information for your claim. Social Security Disability law is a highly specialized area of the law. With as much as you have riding on the outcome of your SSD claim, doesn’t it make sense to speak to the Carmichael Law Group?
What are the Social Security Disability Qualifying Conditions?
Your physical or mental condition must qualify under SSD rules. While there is a very detailed list of these qualifying conditions, there are also two initiatives that can expedite processing of new disability claims. These include:
- Compassionate Allowances can quickly identify a disease or other medical condition that clearly meets SS disability standards. Under Compassionate Allowances, you will generally be considered disabled as soon as you are diagnosed. Conditions that qualify under Compassionate Allowances include specific types of cancer, adult brain disorders, and certain rare disorders that affect children. Some examples of qualifying conditions include pancreatic cancer, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and acute leukemia.
- Your Montgomery disability lawyer can also tell you if you qualify for a quick disability determination in which computer screening is used to identify those claims with a high probability of approval.
There are many, many qualifying conditions, including:
- Hematological disorders
- Skin disorders
- Endocrine disorders
- Disorders of the digestive system
- Cardiovascular disorders
- Digestive system disorders
- Congenital disorders
- Disorders of the immune system
- Genitourinary disorders
- Mental disorders
- Disorders of the respiratory system
- Neurological disorders
- Degenerative diseases
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Special senses and speech
- Impairments that affect multiple body systems
What Is the Overall Process for Obtaining Social Security Disability?
You can complete your disability application online, although you will significantly benefit from having a legal advocate to ensure that your application is complete and accurate. Your application will either be approved or denied. If denied, you can ask for a reconsideration, however, this reconsideration will be looked at by the same people that denied your initial application. It could be that you simply need additional information, in which case, you could be approved in the reconsideration phase.
Following the reconsideration phase, there are three more appeals allowed in the process: If you are denied upon reconsideration, you can request a hearing by an administrative law judge, then an Appeals Council Review, and finally, a Federal Court appeal. At any level of appeal, you must request the appeal in writing within 60 days of the date you are notified of the denial. The appeals process is extremely complicated. A Montgomery disability lawyer from the Carmichael Law Group can determine whether you will receive an approval or denial, and help you take the steps to submit a complete application or appeal.
How a Montgomery Disability Lawyer from the Carmichael Law Group Can Help
If you are about to file your initial application for disability, be aware that it can be quite difficult to obtain disability benefits without the assistance of a strong legal advocate. Attorney Brian Carmichael, along with the rest of the highly skilled Carmichael Law Group legal team, is ready to help you get the outcome you need and deserve. Contact the Carmichael Law Group today—we serve clients across the nation.
You can find specific information about the local field office listed below:
Social Security operates hundreds of local field offices throughout the United States that provide assistance with the full range of services provided by the Social Security Administration on a local basis. With respect to the filing of a disability application, the Social Security Field Office helps process the beginning stages of the disability claim before it is sent out to a State Agency to make the initial disability determinations.
The Montgomery Alabama Social Security Field Office located at 4344 Carmichael Road, Suite 100, Montgomery, AL 36106 provides services to disabled claimants living in Autauga, Lowndes, Butler, Crenshaw, Montgomery, and Pike Counties and includes the following cities: Prattville, Fort Deposit, Haynesville, Greenville, Georgiana, Luverne, Troy, Brundidge, Montgomery, and Pike Road. The direct telephone number for the Montgomery Field Office is 1-866-593-0914 and the direct fax number is 1-833-950-3169.
If your disability claim is denied at the two rounds of initial determinations, the next step in the adjudicative process would be to file a Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge. If you live in the cities and counties above, the Social Security Hearing Office that has jurisdiction of the request for hearing appeal is the Montgomery Hearing Office located at 4344 Carmichael Road, Suite 200, Montgomery, AL 36106. The direct telephone number for the Montgomery Hearing Office is 1-866-931-9032 and the direct fax number is 1-833-499-0271.
Carmichael Disability Law wants to help disabled claimants assigned to the Montgomery, Alabama Social Security Field Office and the Montgomery Hearing Office. As soon as you file a disability claim with Social Security, the team at Carmichael Law will help you every step of the way. Call or text our office today to get the assistance you deserve.