When an individual is disabled and no longer able to earn an income, there are two federal programs available that may help. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are available to any individual who meets the requirements. The former is for those who have worked for a certain number of years; the latter is based on financial need. For persons living in the United States capital, hiring a local disability attorney can guarantee that your initial application is completed correctly and increase the likelihood of receiving benefits in the event that appeals are necessary. Before filing a disability claim in Washington, D. C., be sure you know your rights.
Knowing Who Qualifies
To qualify for either program, an individual must prove that the requirements are met. This includes a combination of medical and vocational information. There is a detailed list of disabling impairments provided by the Social Security Administration, which includes a number of disabilities that may qualify an applicant for benefits, if they meet the listing criteria. Each listing is very specific and many individuals do not fit into the criteria of Social Security’s listing of impairments; however a Social Security disability claimant can still be approved for benefits. There are a number of other arguments to support a disability claim. The important part is how the impairment affects a person’s ability to work and perform everyday tasks. This impairment must be documented by a medical professional. In addition, it must also be determined that the physical or mental condition is such that the applicant could not work on a regular basis.
Knowing What Information to Provide
For SSDI, employment records are also important. Social Security taxes are taken out of each paycheck, and an individual earns credits for time worked. To receive benefits, a certain number of credits are required. For SSI, financial records must be presented. Applicants must have an income below the threshold and have less than $2,000 in assets. This number is $3,000 for a couple. Some assets, such as the home an applicant lives in, are not considered. Specific income limits are based on household size.
Knowing When to Hire a Disability Attorney
The application for both programs can be completed by anyone. However, you might choose to work with an attorney for your disability application to ensure that all information is correct and documentation is thorough. An attorney who specializes in disability will be more experienced with the type of detail required, which can speed up the process. Even if you choose to apply on your own, it is best to hire an attorney in the event that an appeal is necessary. Your attorney will gather evidence and represent you through the appeals process and at a hearing if necessary. A thoroughly experienced representative can make a difference in your chances of being approved for your disability claim in Washington, D.C. , particularly at the hearing level.