SSD Lawyer in Columbia, SC
If you have a disabling condition that prevents you from working, you might be entitled to receive Social Security disability benefits. To ensure that your application process goes as smoothly as possible and that you give your application the best chance at approval, turn to a Columbia Social Security disability lawyer from the Law Offices of S. Chris Davis for help. If you’ve already applied and have been denied the benefits you believe you’re entitled to, we can discuss appealing the decision and can work to help you to get approved for any benefits to which you are rightfully entitled.
We’ll provide you with a free case evaluation so that we can discuss how we can pursue the Social Security disability benefits you need, answer any questions you may have, and help you to make informed decisions about fyour next steps. To get started, call us or reach out to us online now.
How Does the Social Security Administration Define Disability?
A person may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits when they have a disabling condition that limits their ability to work and has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months or to result in death. The Social Security Administration classifies applicants for benefits as “disabled” in several ways:
First, the SSA maintains a list of medical conditions that the agency considers so severe that someone diagnosed with one of these conditions can automatically be considered disabled. Someone diagnosed with a medical condition not included in the SSA’s listing of impairments may also be deemed disabled if their condition is determined to be equally severe to another listed impairment.
An applicant may also be classified as disabled if their overall medical condition renders them unable to engage in full-time work. Under this analysis, an applicant may be required to undergo a medical examination to determine the applicant’s ability to perform work-related activities, such as walking, sitting, standing, lifting, and concentrating or time-management.
The SSA evaluates an applicant’s physical and cognitive limitations to see if the applicant can do any kind of work they have previously done or if they can do another type of work (within the applicant’s experience, skills, and education/training) that is widely available throughout the economy.
When Should I Apply for Disability Benefits?
You should apply for disability benefits as soon as you believe that you have become disabled from working or have received a diagnosis of a disabling condition. It can take weeks to months to be approved for Social Security disability benefits, so it is important to act quickly. Otherwise, your family’s finances could start to be impacted by your lost income.
With that said, don’t hurry to drop off an application that hasn’t been completed properly or your efforts will be wasted. A staggering number of initial SSD applications are rejected. Work with an attorney to ensure that your application is properly supported from the start.
How to Apply for Social Security Disability
You have three options when applying for SSD benefits. You can apply:
- Online at the Social Security Administration’s website
- Over the phone
- Through your local Social Security office
What Kinds of Disability Benefits Does the Social Security Administration Offer?
The Social Security Administration oversees two primary disability benefits programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance program and the Supplemental Security Income program. While both programs are intended for individuals who are disabled from performing full-time work, each program has different qualification criteria.
What Are the Differences Between SSDI and SSI?
The significant differences between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) include the requirement for work history and limits on personal income and assets. SSDI is intended for applicants who have paid into the Social Security system through sufficient work history. After earning enough Social Security-taxable income in a calendar quarter, a worker will earn work credit.
An applicant for SSDI must have a minimum number of work credits and a minimum number of work credits within recent history (usually within the past ten years). The specific minimum credits an applicant must have will depend on the applicant’s age, with younger workers needing fewer credits to qualify for SSDI. SSDI benefits are calculated according to a formula using the applicant’s Social Security contributions.
Conversely, SSI is intended for applicants with little or no income or assets. SSI does not require an applicant to have a work history. An applicant can qualify for SSI if they (and their spouse, if married) earn below a specific limit of countable monthly income and they have less than $2,000 (or $3,000 in conjunction with their spouse) in assets, with exclusions for a primary residence, vehicle, and personal effects. SSI benefits are calculated by assessing any countable earned income from the federal benefit rate, which is set each year by the SSA.
Are Social Security Disability Benefits Taxable?
You may be required to pay taxes on Social Security Disability Insurance benefits if you earn other income that causes your total income to exceed certain limits. These limits change regularly, so it’s a good idea to speak with an attorney about any income that you earn as you’re preparing your SSD application or appeal. By contrast, Supplemental Security Income benefits are not considered taxable.
Can I Work Part-Time While Collecting Social Security Disability?
Social Security disability recipients can work part-time while receiving benefits, subject to limitations and restrictions. SSDI and SSI recipients may work part-time so long as their income does not exceed “substantial gainful activity.” SGA begins at an earned income of $1,350 per month, or $2,200 for blind individuals.
Disability benefits recipients also have the option of participating in one of the Social Security Administration’s work incentive programs, allowing recipients to return to gainful employment during a trial period while continuing to receive their Social Security disability benefits.