Tampa Social Security Disability Lawyer
As scary as it may seem, any serious injury or illness could permanently disable you from working. What if something like this happens to you years before you were ready to retire? How will you provide for yourself or your family? Thankfully, the government doesn’t just abandon you and leave you to your own devices. Eligible individuals can receive Social Security Disability payments every month to help them pay for the necessities of life without an income. It doesn’t matter whether the disability came about through a work-related incident or not.
Unfortunately, though, while benefits are available, they are notoriously difficult to get. The Social Security Disability (SSD) laws are highly structured and strictly interpreted by the Social Security Administration so some people find it all but impossible to secure benefits on their own. Franco Law Firm can help. Our Tampa Social Security Disability lawyers know the law and what it takes to get SSD benefits. Even if your application has been turned down, we know the steps to take to appeal or reapply and be successful in getting you benefits. Call our office for a free consultation to discuss your situation and find out how we can help.
Eligibility for Social Security Disability Benefits
SSD is payable to people who are totally disabled from working. The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires that you be unable to work or perform “substantial gainful activity” due to a physical or mental medical condition that is likely to last for a year or more or result in death. The SSA definition contains both medical and legal components; you’ll need medical certification to document that you have a condition that meets these criteria, but you’ll also need to present your claim in a compelling way that demonstrates your understanding of the law and provides a solid case for approval.
SSA goes through a five-step process to determine if you have a medical condition that fits their criteria. The government maintains a list of medical conditions that qualify, so you’ll either need to have one of those conditions or a different condition that is as severe as a condition on the list. The SSA will also look at whether you are able to do any kind of work based on factors such as your age, education, work experience and job skills.
To be eligible for SSD, you’ll also need sufficient work history. SSD is an insurance-based system, and it requires that you paid enough into the system over the years to qualify. The way the system works, you earn work credits by earning income, and you can earn four work credits a year. In 2022, a work credit equals $1,510, so after you have earned $6,040, you have earned your four work credits for the year. To be eligible for SSD, you must have amassed 40 work credits, and 20 of those credits must have been earned in the last ten years (younger workers who get disabled can qualify with fewer work credits). Basically, there are two earnings tests you must pass: a duration of work test and a recent work test.
How Much Are SSD Benefits?
The benefit amount is different for everybody; it is based primarily on your lifetime average earnings. Currently, benefits average around $1,250 a month, although the figure in your individual case could be significantly higher. There are also factors that could reduce your benefit amount, including if you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
Initially, benefit payments are calculated beginning five months after the “established date of the disability,” which is the alleged onset date you put in your application or a later date decided by the administrative law judge assigned to your case. Once a favorable decision has been reached in your case, we can work to go back and get benefits from the established date of disability, even if it’s been a year since you first applied for benefits.
Injury or Disability? The Franco Law Firm Can Help!
Even though SSD benefits aren’t huge, they can be a lifesaver to supplement your savings or other household income when you can no longer earn. We’ll do our best to see that you get the maximum amount of SSD benefits available to you.
If your disability does not qualify for Social security Disability benefits, we can still work to get you workers’ compensation for a work-related injury or illness, or an insurance settlement if some other party is responsible for causing your disability through their negligence, recklessness, intentional harm, or other legal culpability. As injury experienced injury lawyers, our team at Franco Law Firm is dedicated to helping the people of Tampa Bay get medical care and financial support after an injury on or off the job.
Contact the Franco Law Firm Today
If your application for Social Security Disability benefits has been denied, take swift action and call the Franco Law Firm for a free consultation. We’ll review your paperwork and see if we can’t help you get these important benefits. You only have a limited time to appeal an SSD denial, so contact our Tampa Social Security Disability lawyers today.