Social Security Disability Lawyer Abingdon, Virginia
For those Abingdon residents who become disabled and are unable to work, the federal government offers two assistance programs: Social Security disability insurance (“SSDI”) and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”). These programs are designed to help Virginians support themselves and their families if they can no longer work; however, obtaining these benefits can be a challenge.
Approximately 70% of all initial SSDI claims are denied, leaving many disabled individuals and their families feeling hopeless. Working with an experienced Abingdon, Virginia Social Security disability lawyer who understands the process can result in a higher level of success. When you retain legal representation from the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we can help navigate the complexities of the SSDI and SSI approval process to increase the likelihood of collecting the benefits that you and your family deserve.
What Is Social Security Disability?
The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) provides financial compensation to those who are unable to work due to a disability. Of the over five million Virginia residents, approximately 4.3% collect Social Security disability benefits. If you are unable to work for a minimum of twelve months due to a physical or mental disability, you may qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits. As long as your condition persists, you may be able to collect SSDI benefits until normal retirement age and are eligible to collect Social Security retirement benefits.
Social Security Disability Insurance
SSDI is available to disabled individuals who have worked a certain number of hours over a specified amount of time. Workers pay Social Security taxes out of each paycheck, and a portion of the tax money goes to fund the SSDI program. If a worker becomes disabled, the SSDI is designed to compensate for some of their lost wages.
Supplemental Security Income
SSI is a disability benefit program available to those disabled Virginia residents with low incomes and individuals who have not worked enough to qualify for SSDI.
How Do I Qualify For SSDI Based Upon Work History?
To potentially qualify for SSDI, you must show that you have accumulated sufficient work credits to substantiate the compensation. These credits are essentially points are earned by paying Social Security taxes throughout your career.
Each year the SSA determines the amount of wages or self-employment income needed for one credit. For example, in 2018, you earn one credit per every $1,320 of taxable income, up to a maximum of 4 credits.
The amount of qualifying credits needed for SSDI eligibility will vary depending upon your age at the time of disability; however, generally, you can potentially qualify if you have met two conditions:
- you have earned a minimum of 20 credits in the 10 years preceding the disability; and
- you have earned a minimum of 40 credits total.
However, the work requirements may be significantly reduced if you become disabled at a younger age.
Calculating eligibility and benefits can be cumbersome and difficult but, as an experienced Virginia Social Security disability lawyer, Mark Hurt can help assess your work history and assist in making an eligibility determination.
Can I Collect SSDI and Work?
In most instances, SSDI benefits are not available if you are able to work. However, there are certain situations in which you can work, namely if you make under the substantial gainful activity (“SGA”) limit.
You still may potentially qualify for benefits if you earn less that the monthly amount stipulated by the SSA. This amount varies year-by-year and upon whether you are legally blind. In 2019, the SGA was set at $1,220 for non-blind individuals and $2,040 for blind individuals. SGA for the blind does not apply to SSI benefits, while SGA for the non-blind disabled applies to both Social Security and SSI benefits.
Helping Clients File Claims
The majority of Social Security disability applications are denied, even though many of those submitting the claims medically qualify for benefits. As experienced social security disability lawyers, we know the complexities of these applications, as well as the reasons that the initial applications are often denied. With this knowledge we help clients in preparing the applications, gathering the required medical and other documentation, and submitting the claim so that ideally it will be approved at the outset, and a client can begin collecting benefits.
What Should I Do If I Received a SSDI Denial?
While slightly higher than the national approval rate, Virginia only approves approximately 42% of initial SSDI applications. Therefore, it is important to not be discouraged if you initially receive a denial, as it is a common occurrence.
Mark Hurt has experience addressing application issues resulting in denials, and he has helped numerous clients obtain approvals after initially having their claim denied. Once we learn about your claim, we can review with you the action that we can take in appealing your denial and seeking benefits for you.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Abingdon, VA Social Security Disability Lawyer?
With medical and personal bills possibly mounting, one of the last things you may need to worry about is another invoice. We do not collect a fee unless we successfully secure benefits for you.
We represent clients on a contingency-fee basis (no fee unless compensation is awarded). This amount is equal to 25% of the backpay amount received (there is no fee for us with respect to future payments that are not yet due). Typically, attorneys’ fees are capped at $6,000 by the SSA, with a few exceptions. Our fee is usually paid directly by the SSA; however, you will be responsible for paying some expenses directly, such as any cost to obtain medical records. To help ensure that you have a full understanding of the fee arrangement, we will provide a fee agreement (which governs our representation with respect to these matters).
Get Help from an Abingdon, Virginia Social Security Disability Attorney
Schedule a free consultation to learn how Mark Hurt may be able to put his expertise to work for you.
 Annual Statistical Report on The Social Security Disability Insurance Program, SSA (2018), https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/ssi_asr/2018/ssi_asr18.pdf.
 Benefits Planner: Disability | How You Qualify, Social Security Administration, https://www.ssa.gov/planners/disability/qualify.html.
Substantial Gainful Activity, Social Security Administration, https://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/sga.html.