A traumatic accident or serious diagnosis can—and often does—drastically change the course of a person’s life. While contending with new health concerns, filing for Social Security disability benefits can feel like an insurmountable burden. Enlisting the help of a qualified SSDI lawyer in Oakland can help you get the documentation you need together and improve your outlook.
Explaining Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees several programs designed to help support individuals with disabilities. Social Security Disability Insurance is one of the primary programs offered. It is intended for individuals who were once able to work but no longer can continue due to a profound illness or injury. To qualify, a person must be able to prove their case by providing substantial work history information and medical evidence.
How the SSA Defines Disability
The Social Security Administration has a unique way of defining disability in terms of benefit eligibility. A person’s condition must have lasted (or be expected to last) a minimum of one year, or until death. The symptoms that person experiences must be so severe that they are unable to ‘engage in any substantial gainful activities.’ An applicant must be demonstrably unable to support themselves through working, taking their vocational abilities into account.
Accounting for Work Credits
In order to be considered for SSDI, the applicant must provide work records to show that they paid a certain amount into Social Security through their taxes. The taxes which pay into the various Social Security disability benefits programs appear as a ‘FICA’ line item on a person’s pay stub. If you are found to be disabled by the SSA’s definition but have not worked a sufficient amount (or at all), you may instead qualify for SSI (Supplemental Security Insurance).
What to Include in Your Application
If you are applying for Social Security disability benefits, you will need to provide substantial medical evidence to support claims about your condition. This includes your full medical history, records of hospitalizations, doctors’ notes, and information about any treatments you have tried and their effects. Information about your educational background and work history can help make it clear what types of work you would be able (or unable) to do to support yourself without benefits. Collecting this information can become overwhelming, particularly for individuals who are contending with difficult illnesses. As a result, many applicants choose to work with a qualified SSDI lawyer in Oakland.
At Ortega Disability Group, we have represented countless clients living with a wide range of different conditions. We understand the intricacies of disability law and can help you parse through your medical records to build the strongest case possible. To learn more about how we can help improve your odds of approval, contact us today for a consultation.