If you are the caregiver of a disabled person, you see them struggle physically, mentally, or both. Because of the added medical expense and the inability to work, they likely have financial limitations as well. This blog will tell you – as a caregiver or loved one – how you can help someone secure a successful Social Security Disability claim and start receiving benefits.
Social Security Disability Lawyer
Hiring a disability attorney is the best way to ensure your application for Social Security Disability benefits is ultimately successful. The Social Security Disability lawyer at Watson & Carroll, P.C., L.L.O. will support you and your right to disability benefits. Our team works directly with physicians and other healthcare providers to ensure you are on the path to a successful cognitive impairment disability claim. Call us today at 402-234-8787. You also can share your story here.
Getting The Claim Underway as a Caregiver
The disabled individual may qualify for disability benefits through one of disability programs administered through the Social Security Administration (SSA). Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is based on work history. If the individual has been employed within the last 10 years, paid in Social Security taxes, and earned enough credits, which is usually having worked the equivalent of five years full-time out of the last 10 years, then he or she may qualify for SSDI. You will need to provide a detailed work history dating back 10 years, showing the name of the employer and their contact details, along with the dates of employment, job title, and job duties.
Individuals with no work history, including children, may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). While someone must meet medical criteria to qualify for SSI, the program is needs-based and specific financial criteria must be met. Therefore, proof of income and assets must be provided. As of 2020, a claimant must have less than $1,651 a month in earned income ($2,435 for a couple) and less than $803 per month in unearned income to qualify for SSI. A minor is considered to have access to a portion of the parental income, so a process called deeming is used to determine if financial criteria are met. You will need to gather paystubs, any proof of income, bank statements, investment records, vehicle registrations and/or titles, property deeds, and so forth to determine the financial situation.
Meeting the Medical Criteria
To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, people must meet the medical criteria set by the SSA to determine if they are disabled. The SSA uses a medical guide, which is called the Blue Book, to determine eligibility. There are sections for different bodily systems, and in each section are listings for specific medical conditions. It will clearly indicate what criteria must be proven for that condition for the claim to be approved per that listing. You will need to gather the supporting medical evidence for the claimant you are helping. Of course, you will need to have the claimant’s permission to access their medical records. You should prepare a detailed list of all healthcare providers for the last 10 years, including the approximate dates of service and the contact information.
If the individual cannot meet the criteria of a listing, he or she may still qualify through a medical vocational allowance. This approach takes age, work history, transferable skills, educational background, and medical issues into consideration. The treating physician should complete a residual functional capacity (RFC) form, which details what the individual can and cannot do and presents any restrictions and limitations. Hard medical evidence and supporting documentation are essential to the disability claims process.
It can take several months for a disability claim to garner approval. Along the way, there will most likely be denials that require an appeal to be filed. Disability claims can be approved early on, but most are not approved until they reach the hearing level before an administrative law judge. You can start the claim at www.ssa.gov or by calling 1-800-772-1213. You can enlist the help of a disability attorney anywhere along the way. It could be when you first get ready to file the claim or it may be when you are preparing for a hearing.
If you are helping a disabled client apply for disability benefits and would like to enlist the help of an experienced Social Security Disability attorney, call the offices of Watson and Carroll to get a free case review. One of our knowledgeable disability attorneys will determine the best way to proceed with your client’s claim.
About Watson & Carroll, P.C., L.L.O.
Watson& Carroll, P.C., L.L.O., is not a high-volume law firm that only speaks with clients when it is absolutely necessary. For us, it’s personal. Our team works closely with our clients and their loved ones – not only so that we understand their challenges and concerns, but so we can tailor our approach to address those factors, aggressively pursue results, and secure peace of mind. Whether it is a workers’ compensation case, a personal injury claim, a medical malpractice case, or advocating for disability benefits, we work to protect our clients and make sure their rights are upheld.