What is the Ohio Social Security Disability Application Process?
Disability through the Social Security Administration is different from those of private plans or other government plans and does not provide temporary or partial disability benefits. The definition of a disability under the Social Security Act is an inability to perform sustained gainful activity (i.e. employment) due to a severe medical condition or a combination of severe medical conditions that have lasted—or are expected to last—at least one year or are expected to result in death.
Making the Application Process Less Daunting
Millions of Americans suffering from a life-limiting health condition, a disabling or fatal medical diagnosis found themselves navigating through the SSD application process. This process can be extremely intimidating. Even though SSD benefits can be a lifeline for workers with profound disabilities, many find the process complex and challenging—after all, these individuals and their families are already dealing with health anxieties, income loss, and stress. This is where a highly experienced Ohio Social Security Disability Attorney comes in, potentially turning the entire experience around.
Schaffer & Associates ask that you not give up before speaking to one of their highly-skilled, knowledgeable attorneys. When you need help, it is important that you do everything possible to maximize your chances of success — including speaking to an attorney from Schaffer & Associates. Schaffer & Associates, LPA, has helped individuals with the SSD process throughout the United States, primarily offering services throughout northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.
What Do I Need for a Successful SSD Application Process?
Those who have suffered a disability or illness that prevents them from working and making a living can apply for SSD benefits online or by making an appointment with their local Social Security office. Specific criteria must be met to ensure the best chance of success; most notably, the disability prevents (or will prevent) an ability to engage in sustained gainful activity for at least a twelve-month duration. You will need to have the following information on hand before visiting your Social Security office or beginning an online application:
- Date of birth
- Details regarding your marriage(s) and divorce(s), including spouses DOB
- Details regarding minor children or disabled children under the age of 22
- Details regarding U.S. military service
- Education information
- Details of prior 15 years of employment
- Banking details
- Names of physicians and other medical professionals who have treated you
- Dates of all medical treatments related to your disability
- Any other information related to your medical history
Approval for SSD benefits varies from person-to-person; however, the Schaffer & Associates lawyers are ready to step in should you need assistance in filing your SSD application or should your application be denied.
What Are Common Mistakes Made During the SSD Application Process?
According to Medical News Today, mistakes made during the initial SSD application process can result in delays, which, in turn, causes more stress on an already-precarious financial situation. Some of the most common mistakes and missteps associated with the SSD application process include:
- Not taking the application process seriously. The process for SSD is fairly complex and should not be taken lightly. Ensure you have all the required information when filling out the initial SSD application—and make sure you are eligible. The evaluation process to determine eligibility for SSD includes:
- You must not be “gainfully” employed—Substantial gainful activity is the level of work a person without a disability can do—in 2020, SGA is defined as $1,260 or more per month. Those working at the SGA level are ineligible for SSD benefits.
- You must have a medically determinable impairment/condition that is severe, interfering with basic work activities.
- Your condition must be expected to be severe and disabling for at least 12 months.
- You must be able to show that you are unable to perform the work you did before your disability.
- You must be able to show that you cannot perform other types of work (due to lack of education, training, or physical/mental ability).
- Going through the SSD process alone—When you apply for SSD benefits with no representation, and particularly when you appeal a denial without legal representation—you are much more likely to have your claim denied or the denial upheld.
- Underestimating the impact of your disability—don’t let pride cause you to underplay the extent of your disabilities simply because you have learned to cope with your disability to some extent in your day-to-day life.
- Exaggerating your disability—Just as you should not downplay your disability, you should also never exaggerate the impact of your disability by making it seem worse than it is.
- Being less than clear about your work history—you must know what the expectations for your specific type of work are and be able to articulate why you are no longer able to perform your work duties.
- Giving up—Yes, the process can be long and cumbersome; however, once you have an experienced SSD attorney in your corner, the process not only becomes more accessible, you stand a much better chance of being awarded SSD benefits.
What Are Some Misconceptions Regarding the SSD Application?
There are several misconceptions regarding SSD benefits that are, unfortunately, repeated time after time, such as:
- You cannot receive SSD benefits and workers’ compensation at the same time—If your disability rose from a work injury or illness, you can apply for WC benefits. You can also be eligible for SSD benefits, although those benefits may be reduced.
- You cannot collect SSD benefits and work at all.SSA provides “work incentives” for those collecting SSD, that allow you to earn up to a certain amount of money each month.
- Even if your initial SSD application was denied, there is an appeal process available. More than half of the individuals who apply for SSD are denied initially, however, there is an appeal process available. Having an experienced attorney from Schaffer & Associates can assist you in presenting your appeals in a clear and concise manner, providing you with a better chance of success.
The Importance of Having a Schaffer & Associates Attorney by Your Side
You do not need to face the often-arduous process of filing for SSD or appealing a denial on your own. The Schaffer & Associates SSD attorneys are standing by to help guide you through the process in the proper way that fits your needs. We are experienced, compassionate, and dedicated to you and your future and will ensure your SSD application’s efficiency and accuracy. For a free consultation, call us at 419-595-4608 or send an email to get started today.