Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability / Supplemental Security Income?

Florida Social Security Disability Attorneys

Sustaining a serious injury that leaves you partially or completely disabled can upend your career prospects. Many victims are unable to return to work, left to dig deep into their own pockets to foot exorbitant medical bills, day-to-day expenses, and other costs. Fortunately, in the United States, those who find themselves in this terrifying situation have access to a financial safety net.

Social Security disability benefits are paid out to individuals who have suffered disabilities and are no longer able to do their job or adapt to other work. However, applying for these funds can be a complex undertaking as every new application is subject to an intense review process. Often, all it takes are a few minor errors to bring your claim crashing down.

At Donaldson & Weston, our lawyers can assist with the application process, helping you avoid costly errors and sidestep other common complications. With a strong understanding of each stage of this process, we can help you gather evidence to support your claim, file your application, and oversee any appeals if required. To speak to a member of our legal team, dial 866-349-2912. 

Am I Eligible for Social Security Benefits?

Whether you have a partial or long-term disability, you may think that you are automatically permitted to receive Social Security benefits. However, this is often not the case. While you might qualify for benefits under similar programs, such as workers’ compensation, Social Security only pays out for a total disability. As such, you will need to meet the criteria listed below:

  • Your disability is expected to last for a year or more or will result in death;
  • You will not be able to return to the same field of work you were in before you suffered your injury or condition; and
  • It’s been determined that your disability will inhibit or prevent you from adjusting to other jobs.

Common Reasons Social Security Disability Benefits Are Denied

In this difficult chapter of your life, disability benefits can be a financial lifeline. Unsurprisingly, many claimants are anxious about whether or not their application will be denied. The Social Security Administration (SSA), the agency responsible for processing such claims, has strict guidelines to determine who can and cannot receive financial support. Below we’ve listed a few common reasons these claims are denied:

  • You Ignored Your Doctor’s Orders: As part of your recovery, your doctor may give you specific instructions such as taking prescribed medications, completing exercises, and taking time off work to let your injuries heal. While it can be difficult to sit on the sidelines and stick diligently to your healthcare provider’s script, it’s important to follow through on their orders. The SSA wants to see proof that you are taking sufficient steps to assist your recovery. Deviating from your doctor’s instructions could lead the SSA to conclude that had you followed your doctor’s orders, you may have recovered sooner or avoided exacerbating your injuries.
  • You Do Not Have Sufficient Medical Proof: When you apply for Social Security disability benefits, you will need to supply evidence that proves your situation warrants access to these funds. In most cases, your medical records will form the backbone of your application. However, if your primary physician wasn’t diligent about documenting the severity of your condition and any limitations due to your injuries, it’s likely your application will be denied. To avoid disputes, you should make sure to inform your doctor of any limitations during visits. Your lawyer may also hire vocational and medical experts to assess your case and determine the ways your disability may affect your earning capacity.
  • You Already Earn Enough Money: If you are still able to work and earn a living, you should expect the SSA to deny your application. Anyone capable of engaging in “substantial gainful activity”—i.e. earning $1,470 or more per month—will not qualify for Social Security benefits. However, this “rule” does not typically apply to money generated through investments and other avenues.

Discuss Your Application with a Florida Social Security Disability Attorney

Filing for Social Security disability can be an arduous process. While it is possible to file your application by yourself, hiring a lawyer can help ensure you have someone experienced by your side to oversee the logistics of your case so you can get back to focusing on your recovery. At Donaldson & Weston, we have decades of collective experience helping our clients obtain fair compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. Call us today at 866-349-2912 to discuss your claim with one of our attorneys.