Long Beach Lawyers Discuss
How to Win Social Security Cases (Part 1)
In over four decades of practicing Social Security law, our lawyers have seen just about every type of Social Security case. Unfortunately, many times deserving claimants are denied Social Security Disability benefits – while another person with the exact same injury has or illness has been approved!
In this two-part article we will explain some of the steps that you – or your lawyer – need to take to ensure you get the maximum Social Security benefits for which you qualify – in the fastest amount of time.
Of course, keep in mind that these “tips” are not legal advice, and are NOT a substitute for proper legal representation by an experienced Social Security lawyer. These “ideas” are simply a great starting point to help you understand the many steps involved in improving your chances of collecting any benefits for which you qualify.
(1.) Understand Whether You Should Apply for SSDI or SSI
To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI), you must have worked for 40 quarters, or ten years. And, you also are required to have worked for at least five out of the last ten years. (Note: there are exceptions for younger people in their 20’s or early 30’s who may be eligible having a shorter work history than this.)
To qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, there is NOT a work history requirement. However, SSI benefits are intended for the poor only – so you cannot have assets greater than $2000 if an individual, or $3000 if a family. Assets include: cash, bank accounts, investments, real estate (other than your primary residence) and cars or vehicles (other than your primary transportation).
With BOTH Social Security Disability (SSDI) OR Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you cannot earn more than $980 per month and still be eligible to collect benefits. Remember,that this $980/month is calculated as a “gross” figure – that is the amount you collect before taxes!
For both SSDI and SSI you also have to be disabled with a condition that has lasted (or is expected to last) at least twelve months. And, you have to be unable to work at any job on a full-time basis. Note that you do not have to wait 12 months after your disability starts to apply for benefits. Once you’re ill or injured, you can apply immediately and get the process started.
(2.) Understand How Much Social Security You Qualify For Lawyers Long Beach
With Social Security Disability (SSDI), the amount of your benefits you are entitled to will be roughly the same amount you would receive at full retirement age. Check your mos recent “earnings statement” that the Social Security Administration sends to you each year, to see how much you will recive if you are disabled.
With Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you only receive a fixed amount of benefits. The maximum Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment amounts increase annually with the cost-of-living increases. The monthly maximum Federal amounts that will be effective January 2015 are $733 for a qualified individual, and $1,100 for a qualified individual with an eligible spouse.
(3.) Consult with a Long Beach Social Security Lawyer
There are literally hundreds of exceedingly complex rules and regulations governing SSDI and SSI. Experienced lawyers who have handled hundreds of SSDI and SSI cases know the rules “inside and out” and know how to apply tghem to your best advantage.
There is also a tremendous amount of “paperwork” involved in the Social Security application and appeal process.It is easy for a claimant to fill out a forms improperly or miss a deadline. You can avoid these problems with an experienced disability attorney’s help.
(4.) Do Not Delay Applying for Social Security
Sometimes hardworking people who have worked their whole lives feel guilty or ashamed about applying for benefits. – and this is a reason they often delay filing their SSDI or SSI claims.
We want you to understand that applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is exactly the same as applying for benefits from any other “insurance policy” into which you have paid!
Social Security is simply an “insurance policy” that is issued by the federal government – similar to other health insurance, disability insurance, or life insurance. You paid for this “insurance coverage” with your tax dollars and you are entitled to collect on it if you ever needed it!
Consequently, there’s absolutely no need for you to feel any shame whatsoever in applying. You’re entitled to the benefits if you meet the work history and disability requirements. It’s that simple.
Similarly, Supplemental Security Income or SSI is a public “insurance benefit” available for disabled people that is also funded with tax dollars. We have this isurance system because unfair “things happen” So do not hesitate to collect the benefits that you may need!
You should always apply for SSDI or SSI as soon as you have become disabled – so you do not delay (or tragically lose!) your opportunity to collect the benefits you qualify for.
For example: you may have worked for ten years, BUT if you wait too long to file you could become “ineligible” because you don’t have a total of five working years within the last ten. Remember that those ten years are counted backward from the day you apply for benefits!
The “5 of the last 10 years” requirement can disqualify you, even if you have satisfied the 40 quarters, or ten years, rule. So waiting to apply can be very dangerous. Additionally, because qualification can be take a year or even two, applying early will get you your much needed financial assistance sooner rather than later.
Best Long Beach Social Security Lawyers
Our lawyers have dedicated their careers to helping disabled men and women in Long Beach and across Southern California obtain the Social Security benefits for which they qualify.
If you are unable to work – due to any injury, illness, disease or medical condition – we are here to help you too. Call us today for a free consultation. Our lawyers will help you understand your rights – and fight aggressively to ensure you receive your Social Security benefits.
Free Consultation with a Long Beach Social Security Lawyer:
CLICK HERE for Part 2 of Long Beach Lawyers Discuss Winning Social Security Cases