Keller, Texas, just north of Fort Worth, is known for its motto promoting the mid-sized city’s balance between “big-city comforts and small-town charm.” It was officially incorporated in 1955 and now supports about 43,000 residents. The people of Keller work hard for their money, and when the ability to earn a living is lost, only hard times are ahead for most.
However, the federal government has established an insurance program for workers who become disabled known as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and the monthly benefits it provides to qualified individuals can help those with impairments support themselves and their families.
What Is SSDI?
SSDI was created through an act of Congress in 1956 as an insurance program for U.S. workers because about one in every four suffers a disability before reaching the age of retirement. The program currently has more than 9 million beneficiaries who receive modest monthly payments based on their annual average income over the course of their working lives.
To qualify for SSDI, you must be disabled according to the strict definition set forth by the Social Security Administration (SSA), which is in charge of managing this insurance policy intended for workers afflicted with long-term physical or mental impairments. It is not enough that a doctor says you are disabled or that you qualify as disabled for other government programs.
According to the SSA, you may receive SSDI benefits only if a physical condition or psychological impairment prevents you from working any of the jobs you performed before the disability occurred. In addition, the SSA must determine that you are unable to adjust to other types of work because of the disability, and it must be expected to continue for one year or longer or result in your death.
Because the premiums for SSDI are paid through automatic payroll deductions, you must also pass two work-related tests. The first is a duration test based on age, and the second is based on how recently you have worked. If you are 21 to 23 years of age, you only need 18 months of work in the last three years. If you are 24 to 31, then your work must have lasted half the time since turning 21. If you are 31 or older, then you generally need five years of work in the last 10 years and additional work credits if you are over 43 years of age.
Social Security Disability Lawyers in Keller, TX
Applying for SSDI in Keller begins with submitting an application, medical records and additional documents for evidence to the nearest SSA office, which is in Fort Worth. You can also submit an application online. Although this may sound simple, it is very daunting and complicated for those who are unfamiliar with the system or with medical terminology.
In addition, you will have to endure long wait times at each stage of the process, and it could take years before you receive a final judgment. In Fort Worth, you could be waiting several months before your application is processed only to discover that you have been rejected and must file up to four separate appeals.
Getting Help From an Attorney
The SSA estimates that 90 percent of people who appear at SSDI hearings have professional representation. This is because hearings can be very nerve racking and you must understand how to defend your legal rights. However, our experienced team at Chermol & Fishman, LLC can be helpful from the very beginning, especially when you are trying to deal with all of the difficulties facing someone with a new disability and no income. If you would like additional information, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.