Roanoke, Texas, is a small city located north of Fort Worth in Denton County. It was officially incorporated in 1933, and, for the city’s current population of 8,000 people, it supports a wide range of large employers. Whether you work for General Motors, the Tom Thumb Distribution Center, WW Grainger, or United Markets, you are probably looking forward to every paycheck that you earn. When an unforeseen illness or injury leaves you disabled and unable to work, however, your situation can quickly get scary.
Fortunately, when a resident of Roanoke becomes disabled and can no longer earn a living, some relief is available from a federal insurance program. This program is known as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSDI is supported by all U.S. workers through automatic payroll tax deductions.
SSDI was established in 1956 as a revision to the Social Security Act, and this put the Social Security Administration (SSA) in charge of overseeing the program. SSDI is often confused with other SSA programs, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is an income-based benefit. The difference between SSDI and other social programs is that SSDI is an insurance policy for workers with long-term disabilities. SSDI is not a government handout.
Workers pay the premiums on the policy through their payroll taxes and are eligible to receive benefits if they meet the work requirements. The first work requirement is to have the minimum number of work credits for your age, at the rate of one credit earned for each quarter of employment. The second work requirement ensures that you have worked recently, and this timetable is also determined by age.
In addition, it is important to understand that SSDI is only for those suffering from severe psychological or physical impairments that are expected to result in death or to last a minimum of one year.
The amount of the monthly benefit that qualified workers can receive from SSDI is calculated based on a percentage of the average annual earnings over their lifetime, and the rate ranges from 28 percent to 60 percent of this average.
SSDI has helped millions of people live decently, keeping them from financially falling behind in society, but like most government programs, it has a few downfalls. The biggest of these disadvantages is the wait time. If you go into the nearest SSA office in Denton and complete an application, you will not receive a reply until about three months later. Also,for two-thirds of applicants, the initial outcome is a denial.
You can increase your chances of being accepted upon the initial review by making sure that your application is completed accurately, and you will have to submit sufficient supporting documentation as evidence of your disability. Because this process is so complex and tends to happen at a very stressful time you may not be able to handle it alone.
The most effective and efficient means of navigating through the SSDI program, is to hire a reliable disability attorney at the very start of your application process. We will help you complete your application, which includes talking to your doctors and ensuring that your medical records are prepared and submitted properly. Should your application be denied, it is a relief to have a lawyer by your side when going into the appeals process.
Most SSDI applicants who appeal their denials will be scheduled for a hearing with an administrative law judge. In the courtroom, having an experienced disability lawyer at your side can help reduce your anxiety,improve your confidence and may increase your chances of getting an approval.
If you would like further information on how to begin your SSDI application or how to handle an appeal, contact our legal team at Chermol & Fishman, LLC today.