London Social Security Disability/SSI Attorney
Helping individuals in Southeast Kentucky through the difficult process of claiming SSD/SSI benefits
If you’ve ever worked in your life, you’ve paid into a government program called Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) with a portion of every paycheck. If you wind up disabled from working, Social Security should come through with disability benefits to help replace your lost wages. It doesn’t matter if you got hurt on the job, on the street, or in the home, or if your disability stems from injury or illness. You paid into the system all your life, and now that you need it, those benefits should be there for you.
Sadly, the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a very strict definition of disability and applies a very strict analysis to every application, looking for any errors or reasons to turn down the application. In fact, more than two-thirds of applications for SSDI get rejected.
The good news is that with professional legal help, you can increase your chances of being approved either the first time or eventually by pursuing available options after a denial. The London social security disability attorneys at the Cessna & George Law Firm can help you get your SSDI benefits. We also help eligible individuals with another social security program called Supplementary Security Income (SSI). Learn more below about SSDI/SSI and how we can help, and call our office in London, Kentucky, for help applying for benefits or if your application has been denied.
Social Security Disability
To qualify for SSDI benefits, SSA requires that you be permanently disabled from working. This means:
- You have permanent and significantly diminished earning capacity
- You have a permanent injury expected to last a year or more or eventually end in death
- You are prevented from performing any substantial gainful activity in any occupation for 12 months or more
- You have an impairment listed on SSA’s list of impairments or something of equal severity to a listed impairment
In addition to qualifying based on disability, you will also need to qualify based on your work history. More specifically, you will need to document that you have accumulated a sufficient number of “work credits” in five of the last ten years. SSA uses both a “recent work” test and a “duration of work” test to determine eligibility. This is an area where applicants often don’t fill out the application correctly, causing it to be denied. We can review your application with you before you file to help ensure it is accurate, complete, and presents a compelling case for your disability, putting your application in the best light for being accepted.
The amount of SSDI benefits you can receive depends on factors such as your average lifetime earnings, your age, how long you worked and when, and how many work credits you have accumulated. Several different formulas might be used depending on your specific situation.
Supplemental Security Income
SSI is a benefits program available to people who are blind, disabled, or 65 years or older. SSI uses the same definition of disability as SSDI (a physical or mental condition that renders you unable to work and is expected to last a year or more or end in death). Children with permanent functional limitations stemming from a physical or mental condition can also qualify for SSI. The difference between SSI and SSDI is that you don’t need to have worked to be eligible for SSI; it is not based on whether you have earned work credits or paid into the system.
SSI is needs-based, however, and the SSA places very strict limits on how many financial resources you can have and still be eligible for SSI. For 2021, an individual is limited to $794 per month in countable income, with a limit of $1,191 for couples. An individual also cannot have more than $2,000 in assets, with a $3,000 cap on assets for a couple.
Not all income is “countable” toward these limits; you can exclude a certain amount of money each month, as well as food stamps (SNAP) and certain other resources. Likewise, some assets like a home, one vehicle, household goods and more are excluded from the asset limit. Visit with our London SSI attorneys at the Cessna & George Law Firm to understand the income and asset limits in your situation, apply all available exemptions, or discuss ways to legitimately remove income and assets from being counted without running afoul of SSA rules.
Call Cessna & George Law Firm in London When Your Claim is Denied
It can be very discouraging to have your claim turned down after you spend so much trouble applying. Some people give up out of frustration because they don’t think they will ever be successful, or they don’t know they have options. In fact, you have several options, and a social security disability attorney can assist you at every step.
After a claim denial, we can help you with the following:
- File a request for reconsideration
- File a new application (we can advise you on whether it is better in your case to file a new application or a request for reconsideration)
- Request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge at the SSA
- Appeal the ALJ ruling to the SSA Appeals Council
- Appeal the Appeals Council ruling to federal court
More than two-thirds of initial applications get turned down the first time they are filed. For those who persist, the acceptance rate is much better. It may seem like a frustrating process, but with a skilled and knowledgeable social security disability attorney on your side, your lawyer will take on the difficult aspects of getting you approved and work to get your benefits as quickly as possible.