A New Orleans disability lawyer from the Carmichael Law Group can help you with your Social Security Disability benefits claim no matter where you live in the United States. We have been helping people who desperately need SSD benefits after being disabled and unable to work for a very long time. Client service is our highest priority as we fight for the best possible outcome to your disability application, whether you are in the initial stage of determination or the appeals stage.
Because this is what we do every single day, we know how to help you tell your story in a way that puts you in the best light possible. We can help you with your initial application, ensuring it is complete and that it contains all the documentation necessary. If your application has been denied, we are well-versed in the SSD appeals process. You do not need to face the process of obtaining SSD benefits on your own—Carmichael Law Group is here for you.
Information on this page:
What Are the Qualifying Conditions for Social Security Disability Benefits?
To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must have worked at a job that deducted Social Security taxes from your wages for a specific length of time.
- Your income and financial resources must fall below the amount allowed under the SSD program.
- The disability you have must have lasted at least twelve months—or is expected to last twelve months—or the disability must be expected to cause death.
- Your disability must be listed under Social Security’s online compendium, which is split between adult and child, with fourteen categories of disorders for adults, and fifteen for children.
If your disorder or condition is particularly severe, you may qualify under the Compassionate Allowances program. Social Security has technology that identifies those that could qualify to have their application fast-tracked. Disorders or conditions like certain cancers, adult brain disorders, and rare childhood disorders may qualify under Compassionate Allowances. Even if you qualify under this program, you must still meet the other SSD guidelines.
What Is the Process for Obtaining Social Security Disability Benefits?
You can apply for Social Security Disability benefits via phone, online, or in person at a local Social Security field office. You will gather all the information and documents you need to apply for your disability benefits, then complete your application, double-check it, then submit the application. Social Security will then review your application to ensure you meet all the requirements.
They will then forward the application to the Disability Determination Services office in your state who will make a decision regarding your application. If there are questions or gaps in your application, additional documents may be requested. You will receive a letter in the mail that tells you whether your application has been approved or denied. If your application is denied, you must request an appeal in writing within 60 days from the date you received the denial letter.
There are four levels of appeal: Reconsideration, a Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge, a Review by the Appeals Council, and a Federal Court Review. While your application can benefit from having a New Orleans disability lawyer at any stage, it is especially important during the appeals process.
What Information Do I Need Before I Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?
Before you begin your application for disability benefits, you need to ensure you have all the information and documentation you need. Your application should tell your story—that is, you should tell how your disability affects your day-to-day life, as well as how it affects your ability to work. You need the following information for your SSD application:
- Your original birth certificate or other proof of birth
- If you were not born in the U.S., you will need proof of citizenship or lawful alien status
- Those who were in the military prior to 1968 will need their military discharge papers
- You will need your W-2 forms, along with your tax returns for the past year, whether you were self-employed or an employee.
- The Adult Disability Report—This report will collect additional details regarding your medical condition and your work history.
- All medical evidence you have that supports your claim of disability will need to be included with your application, including medical records, test results, doctor’s reports, and information regarding your prognosis.
- If you are receiving workers’ compensation, you need information regarding the benefits received.
How Much Money Can I Make While Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits?
When applying for Social Security Disability benefits—and if you are approved for benefits—you may not make more than $1,350 per month in 2022 ($2,260 if you are blind). The Social Security Administration believes if you are making more than this amount of money that you are engaged in “substantial gainful activity.” If you are engaged in “substantial gainful activity,” then you are not disabled.
How a New Orleans Disability Lawyer from the Carmichael Law Group Can Help
In the end, obtaining SSD benefits can be a long, arduous process, and one that you may feel like giving up on. A New Orleans disability lawyer from Carmichael Law Group can help you through the process with a much better chance of approval for the benefits you need and deserve. At the ALJ hearing stage, we will help you gather all the necessary medical evidence and thoroughly prepare you for your appeals hearing. If a medical expert is necessary, we know where to find such an expert as well as how to cross-examine the vocational expert. Contact the Carmichael Law Group today for help putting your life back together.