Social Security Disability Attorneys in Jacksonville NC
An unexpected injury or illness can leave you out of work for a long time and unable to earn the income you need. There are programs that can help, such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). But to qualify, you will have to meet strict criteria laid out in the law. At The Law Offices of John Drew Warlick, P.A., our dedicated Social Security Disability lawyers have helped clients throughout North Carolina obtain the benefits they need to move forward with their lives.
As an established Jacksonville, N.C., disability law firm with decades of experience and extensive resources, we are ready to pursue the real results that you deserve. Whether you need help qualifying for benefits or you’re dealing with a denial, our knowledgeable Jacksonville Social Security Disability lawyers can help.
For a free consultation, call us or contact us online today.
How Does Social Security Define Disability?
Although SSDI and SSI are different programs, the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses the same definition of disability for both. The SSA defines disability as a person’s inability to engage in work for profit because of an impairment, either mental or physical, that is:
- Expected to result in death, or
- Has lasted (or is expected to last) at least 12 continuous months
To meet this definition of disability, you’ll need detailed records supporting your claim. These records may include doctor opinions, lab results, mobility tests, and many others. You’ll need to make sure that you have your records in place and that you meet Social Security’s disability requirements for your application to move forward. Without a clear record that shows your disability, Social Security could argue that you don’t qualify as disabled and then deny your application.
What Kinds of Benefits Are There?
SSD programs can provide important resources that help individuals and families. The benefits include monetary payments and coverage under other government health programs. The benefits that you may receive depend upon the programs you qualify for. Some important benefits that you may qualify for include:
- Regular monthly payments
- Back payments covering the time it takes for Social Security to process your case
- Health coverage through other programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid
- Benefits for dependent family members, including financial support and health coverage
If you have questions about what disability benefits may be available for you, speak with a Jacksonville, N.C., SSD lawyer today.
What Is the Difference Between SSDI and SSI?
SSDI and SSI are both key programs that the government uses to provide benefits to people who face disabilities. Although the Social Security Administration oversees both programs, there are significant differences between them. If you’re considering applying for disability benefits, it’s important to know the differences.
SSDI is a program that Social Security uses to provide benefits to workers who face disability before they reach retirement age. To receive SSDI benefits, you must be “insured” under Social Security. That means you must have paid into the Social Security system before your disability, and your benefits may depend upon any contributions you’ve made to the system so far. If you haven’t paid enough into Social Security, you may not qualify for the program.
SSI provides benefits to anyone who has a disability or is of a certain age (65 or older) and has limited income. SSI is an important program for people who have long-term disabilities or haven’t been able to work in the past.
Depending upon your circumstances, one or both of these programs may apply. An attorney can explain the benefits and challenges of each program, then help you apply for the benefits you need. Throughout the process, our disability attorneys can answer your questions and help guide you in the right direction.
When Should I Apply for Disability Benefits?
Every situation is unique, but generally, you should apply for benefits as soon as you are able. While SSDI and SSI may prohibit you from receiving benefits for several months after your disability begins, you can immediately start your application. A Social Security Disability lawyer in Jacksonville, N.C., can help you gather the records you need and guide you through the application process.
The SSD process can take a significant amount of time to complete, especially if Social Security denies an application and you need to appeal. That means that you may not receive the benefits you need from Social Security for quite some time after you apply. These delays can cause undue hardship, but by starting your application as soon as possible, you can work to minimize any delays.
How to Apply for Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration provides several different ways to apply for benefits. These include:
- Completing an application online
- Calling the toll-free number
- Visiting a local Social Security office
You will need key information for your claim, including copies of medical records and lab results, tax records, information about family members, and many other forms of documentation.
SSD applications are built on details and records. Without a completed application backed up by evidence, Social Security could deny your claim and force you to appeal. That’s why it’s so important to get the process right from the beginning. If you have questions about how to apply, speak with a Jacksonville, N.C., SSD attorney about the process for free today.
How Long Does It Take to Receive Disability Benefits?
The amount of time that it takes to receive disability benefits depends upon many factors. As a general rule, SSDI and SSI won’t provide benefits for the five months after the date you’re disabled. After that, you may qualify for benefits.
That said, the approval process can take a significant amount of time. For some SSD applications, months or even years may pass before your claim is resolved. Long processing times are especially common when your claim is denied, and you have to go through the appeals process. Although it can take time to receive benefits, once your application is approved, Social Security will typically provide benefits and back payments.
If you’re considering an SSD claim, speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Our disability lawyers in Jacksonville, N.C., can review the facts of your claim and guide you through the process to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
What Should I Do If My Application Was Denied?
If Social Security denies your application, you do have options, including filing an appeal. In an appeal, you can ask for a reconsideration or pursue a hearing in front of a judge. These processes can be involved and time-consuming. But they can be an important step for you to pursue the benefits that you deserve.
If your claim is denied again on appeal, you still have more options. These could include requesting an Appeals Council review or taking the case to Federal Court. While relatively few cases need to go this far, it still happens.
Generally, you have 60 days from the date you receive a denial to appeal your claim. If you don’t appeal within that timeframe, you could lose your right to pursue the benefits you need. Having a knowledgeable disability lawyer on your side can keep your case on track and ensure you do not miss any important deadlines.
Finally, remember that Social Security gets enormous numbers of applications for its programs, and many applications that Social Security initially denies may be approved on appeal. While the appeal process can be technical and may rely on complex rules, it’s often the best way for people to get the SSD benefits they need. If you’re facing a denial, talk with a disability attorney from our firm about how we can help you move forward.
What Our Jacksonville Social Security Disability Lawyer Can Do for You
Applying for SSD benefits, or handling an appeal, can be exhausting and stressful. This is particularly true when you’re dealing with a disability that’s taking a physical, emotional, or mental toll on you. Our North Carolina Social Security Disability lawyers have experience both with helping people apply for benefits and appealing when Social Security denies claims. Some of the ways we can help include:
- Explaining how the system works and what to expect. Our skilled lawyers understand the Social Security programs and have in-depth experience helping people apply and appeal. We will keep you updated every step of the way so you feel confident that your case is in good hands.
- Gathering all the medical records you need to support your application. These may include doctors’ opinions, lab results, and many other documents. The application and appeals process for SSD claims is very detailed. Social Security can deny an application if even a small piece of information is missing. Our lawyers can help you identify and pull together the records and materials that you’ll need throughout the process.
- Ensuring that your application is accurate and ready for Social Security to process. A disability lawyer from our firm can help you through every part of the application process and serve as your advisor. We can review your application, identify any red flags, and make sure it’s as strong as possible.
- Handling any discussions or calls with Social Security about your application. When you’re dealing with a disability, the last thing you need is the hassle of dealing with calls and letters. An SSD attorney in Onslow County can manage any communication with Social Security about your situation.
- Filing an appeal. If Social Security denies your claim, our lawyers can file an appeal and handle the entire process. We will also represent you at any hearings about your application.
To learn more about how we can help, contact a Jacksonville, N.C., SSD lawyer today. At The Law Offices of John Drew Warlick, P.A., our lawyers understand the mountains of red tape that can go along with the SSD process. We are committed to cutting through it for you. We are always available to answer any questions you may have, and we will review your case for free, with no strings attached.
Call us or contact us online for your free consultation today.