How Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?How Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?

If you have been injured and are unable to work, you may be wondering if you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. The SSDI lawyers at The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers can review the qualifications and restrictions in detail to help you find out if you meet the eligibility requirements. Here are a few basic guidelines set forth by the federal government to determine who is entitled to SSDI benefits.

Social Security History

Most importantly, in order to receive SSDI benefits, you must have participated in employment where you paid into the Social Security program. You must have earned a certain amount of work credits to qualify, based on how long you paid into Social Security. The number of work credits you need will depend on your age when you became disabled. This information can be found on your personal Social Security Statement.

Degree of Disability

You must demonstrate that you are disabled, and you should have a condition or impairment that is recognized by the federal government. People with a partial disability are not eligible; only total disabilities are covered. The Social Security web site provides an online list of disabling impairments. Secondly, you must be able to show that your impairment directly interferes with your ability to perform work-related duties and prevents you from doing your job sufficiently.

Alternative Income Potential

By using factors like your age, education, background and skills, government representatives will check to see if there is any alternative type of work that can replace your lost trade. To be considered eligible for full SSDI benefits, you must be unable to sustain regular work.

Duration of Benefits

You are only eligible to receive benefits as long as your condition prevents you from working. If your condition or prognosis improves and medical professionals can verify that you are able to work, your benefits will be discontinued. There are limited, continuing benefits that can be used to ease the transition until you have a steady income flow.

Visit the federal government’s SSDI qualifications page web site for more information about Social Security Disability qualifications. You may also call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.

The skilled SSDI legal team at The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers can lead you through the disability system maze to help you get easy answers to all your questions. For your free case review, please contact a Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers Social Security disability attorney today by filling out the form on this page.

Should I Use a Social Security Attorney or Social Security Advocate?Should I Use a Social Security Attorney or Social Security Advocate?

You have decided to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), but you may be unsure of the best way to tackle the challenging process. Unfortunately, the outlook is not too encouraging for first-time applicants: around two-thirds of all initial applicants are denied benefits.

Do not worry — experienced assistance is available. A Social Security disability attorney can help you navigate your way to benefits by explaining every step and assisting you in gathering all of the information you need to present a valid claim. If you have applied for benefits and been denied, a skilled Social Security disability attorney can guide you through the appeals process and keep you informed of your rights and responsibilities.

There are also Social Security disability advocates (referred to as non-attorney claimant’s representatives), appointed by the federal government, who are available to help you with your claim. Social Security Advocates are not attorneys, and their experience and backgrounds may not offer you the same type of representation or personal attention a disability lawyer can provide.Here is another point to consider. When you are going to a hearing, your application has already been denied by the Administration and the Administration will be providing witnesses who will testify to try to keep your claim denied. Do you really want an Administration employee helping you when they are the very ones denying your claim to start with?

You also have the option of finding and hiring a non-lawyer representative on your own. Although these advocates can assist you in gathering paperwork and in filling out the applications, they cannot represent you in court. Typically they do not have law degrees nor do they have court experience. Only a lawyer can represent you before a Federal District Judge.

Here are a few key reasons why choosing a Social Security attorney may give you the best chance at winning the benefits you are seeking.

  • If your claim is denied and reaches the hearing level, a  Social Security disability attorney with a strong legal background in Social Security law can be integral in representing you in front of an Administrative Law judge.
  • A Social Security disability attorney is legally forbidden from charging a fee until the SSDI claim is won. After an approval is granted, a percentage of your initial benefits payment may be used to pay your attorney. A Social Security disability lawyer's fee is identical to the amount charged by a non-lawyer representative using the allowable fee schedule set by the SSA.
  • Social Security disability attorneys have spent years representing disabled workers and speaking on their behalf. This level of expertise, experience, and familiarity with Social Security laws can greatly outweigh the qualifications of some Social Security disability advocates.
  • A disability lawyer can save you time and stress by spending hours preparing you for any obstacles that may arise with your claim.
  • A non-attorney disability advocate may not have the time or resources necessary to take care of your needs in a one-on-one, personalized format.
  • A Social Security disability lawyer can improve your chances of winning an approval by helping you gather evidence, document medical details, and complete all the necessary requirements.

Before you hire a non-lawyer representative or Social Security disability advocate, talk to the skilled legal professionals at The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers for in-depth information about the SSDI process and your rights. Please contact our Social Security disability attorneys today to set up a complimentary disability claim review. Fill out the form on this page now to start the process.

How to Apply for Social Security Disability BenefitsHow to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has now made it fairly easy to apply for Social Security disability benefits. Individuals have 3 options by which they can apply. The options to apply for disability benefits over the phone or at your local SSA office are still available. However, the SSA has introduced a new way to apply through their online application. This means, no more long waits at the SSA office and the choice of applying in the comfort of your own pajamas! If you are looking for a down-loadable disability application that you can complete and mail in, that option is still not available.

Individuals who prefer to apply over the phone can call the SSA’s toll free line at 1-800-772-1213. For those who are deaf or hard of hearing you can call the TTY toll-free line at 1-800-325-0778. Social Security Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 7 PM. Simply tell the representative which benefits you wish to apply for and they will work with you over the phone to complete your application. For those who prefer to complete their applications in person, you can call and schedule an appointment to complete your application at your local Social Security administration office. For those who prefer the easier and quicker route of applying online, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability/ and follow the four easy steps outlined.

Before you call, stop by or complete your application online, make sure you gather ALL the important paperwork that you may need. The more information you have to prove your disability, the more likely you will have a successful case. Important information to gather includes:

  • Social Security Cards
  • Birth certificates
  • W-2 forms from the previous year
  • Contact information for all the doctors/hospitals/clinics that you've attended
  • Any medical records
  • Names of medications
  • Name and date of medical test
  • Job history
  • Contact information for an individual other than your doctor who knows about your medical condition and can help with your claim.

For more information about Social Security disability benefits, a Social Security disability lawyer or to receive assistance in filing your Social Security disability claim, call The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers today at 1-800-THE-FIRM (843-3476) or easily fill out the form on this page and we will call you back to start a FREE disability case evaluation.

Social Security Disability Insurance for People with Limited Work HistoryApply for SSI

If you suffer from a disability but either have never worked or have a limited work history, you may not be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) but still may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  SSI is the general program that is commonly referred to as Social Security.  This program is designed to help the retired (age 65 or over), the blind and the disabled who have little or no income. 

SSI provides the disabled with income necessary to meet the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter.  Filing for SSI benefits, like filing for SSDI (Social Security Disability Income) benefits, is a long, complex process.  A large number of people who apply for benefits are denied initially for a variety of reasons such as forms not being filled out properly and deadlines missed.  Interpreting the guidelines of the program can be difficult.  The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyer's Supplemental Security Income attorneys can review the qualifications and restrictions in detail to help you find out if you meet the eligibility requirements of either program. Fill out the form on this page to request an SSI lawyer to review your claim. The review is FREE.


There is no fee if you do not win your benefits!
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