Social Security Disability Lawyer Danville VA
Are you suffering from a disabling injury or illness that has prevented you (or is expected to prevent you) from working for at least twelve months? If so, you may be eligible to receive monthly Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSD”) benefits.
However, it can be challenging to obtain an award for SSD benefits and compensation, as over 65% of initial applications are denied, even when individuals have valid, qualifying disabilities under the applicable regulations. Claims are not properly submitted. Information is missing. Physician reports concerning disability do not address the statutory requirements.
Even if a claim is rejected for a fairly minor technicality, an application usually cannot be easily amended. Instead, the Social Security Administration will deny the claim and the applicant must then go through the appeals process, which can be lengthy (typically ranging from four months to more than a year).
Claim approval delays can be devastating. Because applicants cannot work, they often will not have any income. At the same time, bills must be paid, which can lead to severe financial hardship.
Let Us Help You With Your Claim or Appeal
At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we have helped countless injured clients obtain SSD compensation. As an experienced Danville Social Security Disability Lawyer, Mark Hurt has understands the SSD application process and common pitfalls that result in denials, and knows what information is required in order to obtain an approval from the outset if an applicant meets the qualifications for disability.
If you are interested in applying for benefits or need help appealing a denial, we invite you to call our office to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your options for pursuing SSD.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Danville Social Security Disability Lawyer?
As a Danville social security disability lawyers, we are typically only entitled to 25% of a claimant’s backpay in most cases. “Backpay” is the amount that an applicant receives upon the initial award. We are not entitled to any portion of SSD benefits following the initial award – you will keep 100% of future amounts. There is no fee for us if benefits are not awarded, and you do not have to pay us any fees up-front.
How Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) Benefits?
To qualify for SSD, a person must first have worked long enough in an occupation covered by Social Security. Then, they must have a medical injury or illness recognized by the Social Security Administration (“SSA”). In general, benefits are paid to people who cannot work for a minimum of at least one year until the individual can work again on a regular basis, or until the individual reaches the retirement age specified in the social security regulations.
Do I Have to Wait for 12 Months Before Filing for Social Security Disability?
No. If you have an injury that is expected to last at least 12 months or longer, you can (and should) file for SSD benefits as soon as possible.
When Do SSD Payments Start?
There is a five month waiting period after disability onset. The first payment for disability can then start as soon as the sixth full month after a person has become disabled.
How Long Does it Take to Get Backpay?
In general, the SSA makes backpay payments (usually into a recipient’s bank account) within 60 days of an award.
How Does the SSA Define a Disability?
The SSA’s definition of disability is different from many other government programs. For example, Social Security only pays for total disability, meaning partial or short-term disabilities do not qualify.
An individual is disabled under Social Security guidelines if the following conditions are met:
- A person cannot perform work they did before because of a medical condition;
- A person is unable to adjust to other work because of the disability; and
- The disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death.
How Do I Know If I Worked Enough to Qualify for SSD Benefits?
Injured workers must have worked long enough (and recently enough) under Social Security to be eligible for benefits. The SSA uses a system of work credits to track eligibility. Generally, 40 credits are needed to qualify, 20 of which must have been earned in the ten years preceding the date of disability. However, those injured at a younger age or who otherwise are not eligible for SSD may be eligible with fewer credits or even no work history under the Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) program (we can advise if you may be eligible for this program).
A maximum of four credits can be earned each year. SSA work credits are based on total yearly wages, and the amount needed for a single credit fluctuates annually. For example, in 2021, workers earn one credit for each $1,470 in wages (or self-employment) income.
If you would like more information regarding whether you qualify, contact the law offices of Mark T. Hurt for a free consultation.
What Types of Conditions Are Considered Disabilities?
The SSA maintains a comprehensive list of conditions that meet eligibility requirements (referred to as the “Blue Book”). If an injury or illness is listed in the Blue Book, it automatically qualifies as a disability. To qualify as a disability, non-listed ailments must be as significant as another condition on the list.
The primary categories listed in the Blue Book include:
- Cardiovascular System Disorders
- Eating Disorders
- Endocrine Disorders
- Hematological Disorders
- Immune System Disorders
- Mental Disorders (e.g., OCD, Schizophrenia, etc.)
- Musculoskeletal System Issues
- Neurological Disorders
- Respiratory Disorders
- Skin Conditions
- Speech & Sensory Issues
The foregoing is not a list of all qualifying disabilities. At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we assist individuals with all types of physical, emotional, and mental challenges that interfere with their ability to work. If you are interested in finding out if your injury or illness qualifies as a disability, schedule a free consultation with experienced Danville SSD attorney Mark Hurt.
How Does an SSA Examiner Determine If an Individual Is Disabled?
After establishing enough work credits exist, the SSA performs a qualification review involving the following five questions to determine if a person is disabled:
- Are you working?
- Is your condition severe?
- Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions?
- Can you do the work you did previously?
- Can you do any other types of work?
If individuals have a recognized disability that prevents them from performing any type of work (including modified or substitute assignments), then they may be approved for benefits.
Can Widows or Widowers Receive SSD Benefits for a Spouse?
Yes, if something happens to a worker that results in death, benefits may be payable to their widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse with a disability if:
- The surviving spouse is between the ages 50 and 60; and
- The surviving spouse has a disability that began before or within seven years of the worker’s death.
If the worker dies, a widow or widower normally must apply for benefits within three months of the worker’s death. Thus if you lost a spouse and are interested in pursuing disability benefits, we encourage you to call our office to schedule a consultation ASAP with Experienced Danville SSD lawyer Mark Hurt.
Call Our Office to Schedule A Free Case Evaluation with Danville SSD Attorney Mark Hurt.
With an experienced Danville disability claim attorney by your side, you will have a tenacious advocate fighting for your rights. We understand the SSD application process and how to move claims through as quickly as possible.
If you need assistance filing an initial application or appealing a denial, please call our office to schedule a complimentary consultation. When applying for SSD, it is generally advantageous to begin the process as quickly as possible, as it can take months to secure approval. Call today to get started!