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social security disability FAQs for Florence, SC

Individuals interested in obtaining Social Security Disability benefits often have many questions about the general process. The following are answers to social security disability FAQs In SC that an attorney might be asked by other prospective claimants.

Social Security Disability

What is Social Security Disability?

Social Security Disability is a part of the Social Security System and is available for workers who have paid Social Security taxes for at least 10 quarters. If you become disabled according to the Social Security guidelines, you may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits. If you have not paid Social Security taxes for the required length of time, but are disabled and meet the financial guidelines, you may be eligible for Supplementary Security Income (SSI).

What is considered disabled?

The Social Security Administration defines a “disabled” person as one who is disabled by a physical or mental disease, injury or condition (or combination of those three) for at least one year; and that disease, injury or condition must prevent you from performing any substantial work (not just your usual work). How pain affects your work also is considered. Meeting these requirements can be difficult because the Social Security regulations require medical documentation (such as X-Rays, tests, or other forms of medical documentation) not just a doctor’s opinion. The Social Security Administration may even require additional examinations (at their expense). If you refuse to cooperate in these extra evaluations, your claim likely will be denied.

What kinds of disabilities do I have to have in order to qualify for benefits?

Generally speaking, you must be completely disabled in order to get Social Security Disability benefits, which means that you have to be suffering from a condition that keeps you from being able to do any substantial gainful work. Additionally, your disability attorney will advise that you must have paid enough into the Social Security system for a certain length of time. Specifically, individuals will qualify if they have paid into the system for at least 40 quarters, 20 of which should have occurred within the last 10 years prior to you becoming disabled.

Disabilities include (but are not limited to) the following conditions:

  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Back, neck, and joint pain
  • Breathing disorders
  • Finger/Hand/Wrist pain
  • Heart condition
  • Memory loss
  • Migraines
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Vision/Hearing loss
  • Weakness/Fatigue

What benefits will I get?

According to your records, you will receive a monthly check from the date you applied or became eligible, and you also will be eligible for medical benefits. If you have a dependent spouse and/or children, they also could be eligible for additional benefits.

When should I apply?

If you are injured, you should apply as soon as your doctor determines your condition will prevent you from working for at least one year. If you meet the guidelines, you are entitled to these benefits as a contributor to the Social Security Trust Fund, and you should take advantage of them if you need them.

How do I apply?

You can apply online by clicking here and following the instructions. By applying online, you do not need to wait for an appointment, and you can apply from the convenience of any computer and save money by avoiding multiple trips to your local Social Security office. If you choose not to apply online, your local Social Security office will help you with the application process. You will need to call your local Social Security office and schedule an appointment to file your application for benefits. The Social Security office will take your application either in person, or by telephone, whichever is most convenient for you. If you have a dependent spouse or children, it will be necessary for you to fill out an application on their behalf as well. The Social Security office will then mail you forms to be completed prior to your appointment with them. These forms will require such information as the medications you are currently taking, the name of your doctor(s) and addresses as well those of your previous employers. If this material is provided to the Social Security office when your claim is made, it will help speed up the process.

Do I need the help of a lawyer?

A person can easily begin the application process without the help of an attorney. However, each year many people are needlessly denied Social Security and SSI benefits. If you are denied benefits but feel you meet the requirements, you may need an experienced attorney to review your case and/or develop and argue your case of appeal.

To discuss your legal options, contact us or call our office at (843) 667.0400.