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Cincinnati Social Security Disability Attorneys
Social Security Disability (SSD) provides income support for workers who suffered a debilitating injury or illness. You may qualify for SSD benefits if you contributed enough Social Security taxes through your employment.
Although you are not required to work with an attorney to apply for SSD or appeal a denied benefits claim, a knowledgeable disability lawyer can guide you through the challenging process. Young, Reverman & Mazzei was founded in 1972 in part to help disabled individuals from the greater Cincinnati area pursue the financial benefits they need, and our attorneys have an extensive record of success in Social Security benefits claims.
If you have a disability and would like to learn more about your rights regarding SSD or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), please call us today at 800-721-1678 or contact us online for your free consultation.
About SSD and SSI
SSD and SSI are both types of disability benefits, but they differ in eligibility and the actual benefits available.
SSD, which is also known as Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), is available to disabled applicants who have accumulated sufficient work credits through employment and contribution to payroll taxes. SSD benefits may also be paid to spouses and unmarried children in some circumstances.
SSI benefits may be awarded to certain disabled, blind or elderly individuals who meet income restrictions and who have never worked or who have not worked enough to be insured by the SSD program. While SSD is funded through payroll taxes, SSI is funded through other initiatives and taxes.
According to the United States Social Security Administration, disability benefits were paid to over 10 million people in 2016, totaling over $11.3 billion. There were also an additional 3.7 million applications submitted in 2016, highlighting just how important these programs and their services are to American workers.
Who Qualifies for SSD?
According to the Social Security Administration, you can qualify for SSD if you are:
- 18 or older
- Not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record
- Diagnosed with a condition that is expected to last more than 12 months or is terminal
- Unable to work as a result of your medical condition
You must also have not been denied disability benefits in the last 60 days. However, to actually apply for SSD, you also need to prove medical need and impairment.
Impairments Covered by SSD
The Social Security Administration maintains a listing manual that is updated each year and details the types of impairments and illnesses that are covered by SSD. In broad categories, these impairments include (but are not limited to):
- Cardiovascular conditions
- Musculoskeletal conditions
- Respiratory illnesses
- Neurological disorders and epilepsy
- Mental illnesses
- Special senses and speech disorders
- Genitourinary disorders and kidney diseases
- Digestive disorders
- Blood disorders
- Skin disorders
- Immune system disorders
- Congenital diseases
For the full list of impairments covered under Social Security, please visit the SSA’s Listing of Impairments. It’s important to note that not every condition in this list is automatically covered, and exceptions may be made for some conditions not on this list.
Social Security Disability Benefits
SSD benefits include a monthly payment that replaces, on average, about 40 percent of your working income. The average benefit for SSDI recipients in 2018 was $1,198 per month. Of course, this varies based on how long you’ve been working or how much you contributed to payroll taxes, and it does not take into account what your family benefits may include.
Twenty-four months after you have been approved for and begin receiving your SSD payments, you will also be eligible for Social Security, which is a separate payment based on work credits and age. This can help pay for additional expenses including healthcare, which is not covered separately by SSD.
For people who are injured as a result of a personal injury incident or workplace accident, you are allowed to receive some additional benefits or payouts from other sources while on SSD. This enables people to receive commensurate compensation for their disabilities and/or injuries.
Applying for SSD Benefits
The Social Security Administration offers a Benefits Planner on its website, which tells you how to apply for SSD in your state. Some basic things you’ll need before applying for SSD benefits include:
- Birth certificate
- Proof of U.S. citizenship
- S. military discharge papers (if applicable)
- W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax returns for the previous year
- An Adult Disability Report
- Medical records, doctors’ reports, recent test results, etc.
- Proof of temporary or permanent workers’ compensation-type benefits
Specific needs vary based on your individual case. Because so many SSD applications are denied each year, many individuals choose to work with an experienced lawyer who can ensure that their applications are properly prepared and documented.
Appealing a Denied SSD Application
Rejected applications for disability benefits are not uncommon. Nationally, about 42 percent of SSD and SSI applications are denied. These numbers are even higher in Ohio, where the Department of Disability Determination denies around 70 percent of applications for disability benefits.
There are four levels of appeals within the Social Security Disability program:
- Appeals Council review
- Federal Court review
Because it can take months to hear back on your initial application, the appeals process only adds to the time and expense associated with waiting for SSD benefits. This is another reason why many people seeking benefits decide to seek legal help. A knowledgeable attorney can lead you through appeals and, if necessary, represent you in court.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Apply for SSD?
Filing for Social Security Disability benefits can be confusing, frustrating and time-consuming, and even more so if your application is denied. To support you in this process, you may choose to seek legal counsel when filing for Social Security Disability, although it is not mandatory.
According to a survey by the legal publisher Nolo, 60 percent of SSD applicants said their Social Security Disability benefits were eventually approved with the help of a lawyer, while only 34 percent received approval without representation.
A Social Security Disability lawyer can help you:
- File forms
- Adhere to guidelines
- Provide appropriate documentation
- Meet filing deadlines
- Track your application
- Appeal your claim (if needed)
With an experienced disability lawyer by your side, you can reduce the stress associated with filing, as well as increase the odds that your application will be approved. A disability attorney will also be your greatest advocate during the appeals process.
How Our Disability Lawyers Can Help
Our Social Security Disability attorneys can help you understand whether you qualify for SSD or SSI and file a well-documented claim on your behalf for the maximum benefits to which you’re entitled. If your benefits application was wrongfully denied, we can prepare a comprehensive appeal.
To learn more about your rights to benefits, call us today at 800-721-1678 or contact us online for a free consultation. We welcome clients from the greater Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, areas including Boone County, Campbell County and Kenton County in Kentucky and Dearborn County in Indiana.
For a list of our tri-state office locations, please see our Directions page.