McAllen Social Security Disability Lawyer
If you’re unable to work because of an injury, Social Security Disability benefits may be a vital part of your future. For help getting these benefits, partner with a McAllen Social Security Disability lawyer.
Social Security Disability benefits are a great source of financial relief for those who are unable to work, but not everyone qualifies. Those suffering from short-term disabilities, for example, are not eligible for benefits, nor are individuals who have working arrangements in which they don’t pay into the Social Security system.
On the other hand, many individuals who deserve and qualify for these benefits are denied. At J.A. Davis & Associates, LLP, we don’t think that’s right.
Rather than trying to guess whether you’re eligible for benefits or struggling to convince officials that you are, in fact, eligible, we recommend obtaining the representation of an experienced McAllen Social Security Disability lawyer at our firm.
Who Qualifies for SSD?
Not everyone qualifies for benefits under the federally run Social Security Disability (SSD) program.
First and foremost, candidates for the program must have worked in a job in which they made payroll contributions into the United States’ Social Security system.
Furthermore, individuals must anticipate their disability putting them out of commission for at least a year. During this period, they can only receive minimal amounts of external income.
While this year-long disability period must be continuous, these twelve months are counted from the time of your injury, meaning they may have already elapsed or are expected to elapse before you fully recover.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has compiled fourteen broad categories of disabilities they recognize as reasons to receive benefits. These categories are as follows:
- Musculoskeletal disorders (e.g., amputations)
- Sense and speech disorders (e.g., hearing loss)
- Respiratory disorders (e.g., respiratory failure)
- Cardiovascular disorders (e.g., chronic heart failure)
- Digestive system disorders (e.g., inflammatory bowel disorder)
- Genitourinary diseases (e.g., chronic kidney disease)
- Hematological diseases (e.g., sickle cell disease)
- Skin disorders (e.g., burns)
- Endocrine disorders (e.g., thyroid gland disorders)
- Congenital disorders that affect multiple body systems (e.g., Down syndrome)
- Neurological disorders (e.g., epilepsy)
- Mental disorders (e.g., major depression)
- Cancer (e.g., lymphoma)
- Immune system disorders (e.g., inflammatory arthritis)
Benefits usually continue until you completely recover from your disability, even if you reach full retirement age before you return to your former state. In this case, your disability benefits would formally convert to retirement benefits but remain the same in terms of amount and frequency.
Dealing with Denials
It is not uncommon for SSD insurance requests to be denied by the SSA, which is a testament to the fact that benefits are not just handed out haphazardly.
Although you will always receive a formal explanation as to why your request has been declined, you will also be given the option to appeal the decision, either online or via mail, using Form SSA-561.
Those who appeal the SSA’s decision may eventually face an administrative law judge, who makes the final decision on whether a candidate should receive benefits, in court. Before the judge, it’s critical to be able to clearly demonstrate your eligibility, or you will likely be barred from receiving benefits.
Due to the high-stakes nature of the hearing, we highly recommend hiring an experienced McAllen SSD lawyer. We can help you collect any and all relevant documentation to help sway the case in your favor, whether it’s medical records, work history, or physician testimony.
What's Covered for SSD
Income from SSD benefits is intended to help the disabled individual in question fully recover—physically, psychologically, and financially. However, this income can also help with living expenses while you’re unable to work.
The SSA bases benefit amounts on a percentage of your annual wages, with those making less income receiving a higher percentage of benefits relative to salary (e.g., someone making $20,000 a year might receive 60 percent of his or her salary, compared to much less for anyone making over $113,700 a year).
You might see the term “Supplemental Security Income” thrown around. This is the name of a similar program intended for those who are considered impoverished, have insufficient work experience to qualify for the SSD program, or are 65 or older.
While it’s important to recognize the program you qualify for, it’s imperative to present a compelling case that shows why you are eligible for the program’s benefits in the first place. A McAllen SSD benefits lawyer can help you with that.
Benefits for Family Members
An often overlooked factor when evaluating SSD benefits is the compensation that family members can receive.
Any of the following relatives are eligible for compensation of up to 50 percent of your benefits, on top of what you already receive:
- Spouses (including divorced partners)
- Children (including those with their own disabilities)
- Some disabled adult children
The combined benefits received by all family members are not likely to exceed 150 to 180 percent of your individual disability benefit.
The Difference Between SSD and Long-Term Disability Insurance
To shift gears, we have noticed that many clients get confused about the difference between SSD insurance and long-term disability insurance policies.
While there are a number of differences between these two types of insurance, perhaps the most important thing to know is that SSD is a public program, while long-term disability policies are purchased from the private sector (typically individually or through an employer).
Because the two forms of insurance are completely separate, you can receive benefits from each simultaneously. The same usually goes for workers compensation, which is a government program like SSD insurance, but it is state-run. However, work comp and SSD might conflict and face some total compensation limitations.
Should you have any unresolved questions or concerns about your McAllen Social Security Disability case, we urge you to reach out to an attorney at J.A. Davis & Associates, LLP.
Contact a McAllen Social Security Disability Attorney
It goes without saying that a serious disability can derail your life and future, both in terms of your health and your finances. Fortunately, you are not the first to experience this problem, which is a major reason why programs like SSD insurance were initially created.
To ensure that you receive the benefits you need, contact a lawyer at J.A. Davis & Associates, LLP today.
To schedule a free consultation with a McAllen Social Security Disability lawyer, call us at 210-732-1062. If you would prefer to reach an attorney online, enter your information into the contact form at the bottom of this page, and we will be in touch promptly.