Justin, is a small city of about 3,300 people that is located 25 miles north of Fort Worth in Texas. It was originally founded as a French utopian community in 1848, but it is now a quaint municipality populated by strong, honest and proud people who rely on their jobs to support their families. When an unexpected accident or illness occurs that leaves you disabled and unable to work, you only have a short time before the lack of income becomes a significant issue, especially in a small city like Justin.
The federal government realized that situations like this had to be fixed in 1956 when the Social Security Act was expanded to include a new insurance program for U.S. workers suffering from severe disabilities. This program, known as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), offers relief to qualified workers who can no longer work due to disability by providing them with a monthly benefit for living expenses.
SSDI is an insurance program managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). It works like an insurance policy, and nearly every worker in the U.S. pays the premiums for SSDI through federal payroll taxes. If you have worked the required number of years in the given timeframe and are no longer able to support yourself, you may qualify for SSDI benefits.
Approval for SSDI is based on three primary qualifications:
- You must have worked for a minimum number of years. The exact amount of time needed for SSDI is based on the age that you were when you became disabled.
- You must have a recent work history. The timeframe in which you must have worked is also based on your age. For example, if you are 24 or younger, you only need 1.5 years of work in the last three years, but if you are 31 or older, you must have completed five years of work in the last 10.
- You must be living with a severe, long-term disability that keeps you from performing the work you did in the past and prevents you from switching to other work. A doctor must expect this disability to lead to death or last for one year or longer or to end with your death.
SSDI can be of great help to disabled workers, but applying for benefits through this program can be difficult, stressful and time consuming. Residents of Justin, TX, may apply online or at the local SSA office in Denton. First, you will need to prepare a large amount of supporting documentation, including proof of your birth, residence, identity and disability. This may require you to request medical records from your doctors.
If you make errors in your application or miss deadlines in submitting your documents, your review could be delayed beyond the two to three months that the process usually takes. In addition, 67 percent of applications are denied even when everything appears to be in order. If you are denied after your first review, you will have to file an appeal and will likely have to schedule a hearing with an administrative law judge.
To greatly improve your odds of getting approved for SSDI, you may want to hire an experienced disability attorney. A knowledgeable expert from Chermol & Fishman, LLC will help complete your application as accurately as possible, and can speak with your doctors to ensure that your medical records show what the SSA wants to see.
If your application is denied and you have to attend a hearing, we will do all of the hard work so that you can take the time you need to stay focused on your personal priorities. For more information on whether you are a candidate for SSDI, contact us today for a free consultation.