The Social Security Administration (SSA) will provide you with disability benefits if you are suffering from a medical condition which prohibits you from doing a "substantial gainful activity" and which will last for at least a year or may cause your death. Remember, SSA does not give benefits to people who only have a partial or temporary disability, unlike other insurance programs.
However, applying for disability benefits can be hard because of the legal issues that are involved in the process. In addition, the agency will first determine if your condition falls under its strict definition of disability before it starts to provide you with benefits.
Here are different FAQs which will help you understand the issues or problems you will likely face when applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits:
Q: I have worked for many years, but I am now currently staying at home because I have to look after my son. Can I still receive disability benefits, though I am no longer working?
A: There is a possibility that you will still receive financial assistance from SSA. If you have gathered enough work credits, you will likely qualify for SSDI benefits.
Q: I am currently on a sick leave. Am I entitled or file a SSDI application at this time?
A: Yes, you can file a SSDI application while you are still on a sick leave.
Q: Who will decide whether I am entitled to SSDI benefits?
A: SSA will assess you application in order to make sure that you have met all the basic requirements for the program. The agency will look at your work credits and evaluate your current work activities. If you passed the basic requirements, your application will then be forwarded to a "Disability Determination Services" office which can be found in the state where you live in.
Q: What will I do if my application was rejected?
A: You can still reverse SSA's original decision by asking for an appeal within 60 days after you have received your rejection letter. The four levels of appeals are reconsideration, hearing, review conducted by the Appeals Council, and review conducted by the federal court.
Q: If my application was approved, how much money will I receive from SSA?
A: The amount of benefits you will be entitled to receive will depend on your "lifetime earnings."
Q: How can a Los Angeles disability lawyer help me have a successful SSDI application?
A: Your lawyer will first determine if your condition is covered by the program. If it is, he will help you gather all the documents needed by the agency so that your application will be approved.