attorney for social securityEvery year, millions of Americans apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies 70 percent of initial claims.

Forms of Social Security benefits

There are two forms of Social Security benefits. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) pays benefits to an individual if they are “insured,” that is, if the person has worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) was established to pay benefits based on financial need for elderly, blind and disabled people who have little or no income.

It’s important for claimants to find out why their claims were denied before they can consider an appeal. To help with a benefit denial, a Social Security attorney can help.

The claimant does not meet non-medical requirements.

The SSA will not consider a claim or review an individual’s medical records if eligibility requirements aren’t met. A technical denial occurs when an applicant does not meet the financial requirements of SSI or SSDI.

For SSI, the claimant cannot have more than $2,000 in the bank as an individual or $3,000 as a couple. Home and car ownership are allowed, but this is the extent of the total income. When a claimant has been refused the benefit, they can consult with an attorney for Social Security.

The applicant has not worked long enough or paid enough Social Security taxes.

The applicant has to meet the SSA’s definition of disability. They also need to have worked recently and long enough to qualify for SSI or SSDI benefits.

Known as Social Security work credits, these are based on total yearly wages or self-employment income. Individuals can earn up to four credits each year. Unfortunately, the amount of money earned for a credit changes with every tax year. In 2016, a person earns one credit for every $1,260 of wages or self-employment income. Once they reach $5,040, they have earned four credits for the year.

The number of credits to qualify for disability benefits depends on the applicant’s age when they became disabled. The SSA reports that an individual needs 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years, ending with the year they become disabled.

There are many facets to Social Security law. It’s worth obtaining help with filing a first time claim, making an appeal, or preparing for a hearing. When this is the case, an applicant should contact an attorney for Social Security.