SSD Attorneys in Prichard, AL
Alabamans love to earn what they need through diligence and dedication to their work. But the unfortunate fact is that there might come a point in your life where you may not be physically able to work and earn a living. Data shows that nearly one out of three adults in Alabama has some form of disability, which affects their ability to work and lead a normal life.
Whether it is due to an unexpected injury or an underlying health condition, living with a disability can be a challenge, to say the least. If you are unable to work due to a debilitating disability, you might be eligible to receive financial assistance under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.
At Walton Law, we have extensive experience in handling Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims and have helped thousands of people obtain the financial assistance they need over the years. Contact us today to find out how our Prichard, AL SSD lawyers can help you.
Criteria to Qualify for SSDI Benefits in Prichard, AL
In order to receive benefits under the SSDI program, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must have the required number of work credits.
- Your medical condition must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability.
The number of work credits needed to qualify for SSDI benefits primarily depends on the age at which your disability began. For example, if your disability began before the age of 24, you only need six work credits in the last three years before your disability began.
On the other hand, if your disability began at the age of 50, you need a minimum of 28 work credits, out of which 20 must have been earned in the last seven years before your disability began.
If you are 62 or older, you need a minimum of 40 work credits, out of which 20 must have been earned in the last 10 years before your disability began. You can find the full list of work credit requirements here.
The SSA determines whether or not you have a qualifying disability based on several criteria. These include:
- The medical condition you are suffering from must have lasted or is expected to last for a period of one year or is terminal in nature and is expected to result in your death.
- Your medical condition must severely affect your ability to sit, stand, walk around, lift things, or do any kind of basic, work-related activity.
- If you are currently employed, your average monthly earnings should not exceed $1,470.
- Your medical condition must be on the list of SSA’s qualifying medical conditions. You can find the full list of qualifying medical conditions here.
In case you are suffering from a medical condition that is not listed on the SSA’s list of qualifying medical conditions, the SSA will use a two-step process to determine whether you qualify for SSDI benefits.
- Whether you can still do the work that you did before your disability began.
- Whether you can do any other kind of work and earn a living.
If the answer to both these questions is ‘no’, your medical condition will be considered a qualifying disability.
It should be noted that the criteria to quality for SSDI benefits are different for people who have low vision or blind, surviving spouses, and for individuals whose disability began before the age of 22. You can find the detailed list of criteria here.
Mistakes You Should Avoid While Filing a Prichard, AL SSDI Claim
- If you are currently collecting unemployment checks, your claim might be denied by the SSA. This is because those who receive unemployment benefits are considered unemployed, not unemployable. In other words, a person who receives unemployment benefits is generally considered capable of working but has not managed to find a job.
- If you are currently employed, there is a possibility that your claim might be denied – even if your monthly earnings are below the threshold set by the SSA. The claims examiner might want to know whether you can switch to a different job (based on your qualifications and work experience) and earn more or whether you can work on a full-time basis and earn more. Even if they do not reject your claim outright, they might ask you for an explanation, which can certainly delay things and prevent you from getting the benefits you need in a timely manner.
- If you fail to take the medications prescribed by your doctor or comply with your doctor’s recommendations, your claim will almost certainly be rejected. This is because the claims examiner might assume that if you had taken your medications, your condition might have improved and you might have been able to work.
- Exaggerating or downplaying the effects of your medical condition is one of the biggest mistakes you can make while applying for SSDI benefits. If you exaggerate the severity of your condition, the claims examiner might think that you are unfairly trying to take advantage of the system. On the other hand, if you downplay the severity of your condition, the claims examiner might think that you are not totally disabled and capable of working. Either way, your claim will be denied. It is why you should stick to the facts and not add any inputs of your own.
- Finally, you should not give up if your claim is denied. A denial does not necessarily mean that you are not qualified. It could be due to an inadvertent mistake on your part, which can always be corrected. With the help of an experienced Prichard, AL SSD attorney, you can file an appeal and receive the benefits you are entitled to.
Get Strong Legal Representation from a Trusted Prichard, AL Social Security Disability Lawyer
If you are looking to file for SSD benefits in Prichard, AL, or if your claim has been denied, attorney Randy Walton can help you get the benefits you need. A member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives, Randy has helped thousands of individuals get the disability benefits they need over the last 15 years.
Call us today at 251-455-5819 or contact us online to schedule a free and confidential consultation.