Answers to common questions regarding Social Security disability benefits in Georgia
Georgia disability applicants can increase the likelihood of securing Social Security benefits by understanding the Social Security Administration (SSA) criteria for benefit approval. To help equip you with a better understanding, our team at WPMH Legal has answered some of the common questions about obtaining Social Security disability benefits in Georgia.
Q: What does Social Security consider a disability?
On the surface, most people consider Social Security benefits as compensation for American citizens who are unable to work due to an unprecedented illness, injury or permanent disability. However, to receive compensation, sustaining an injury is not enough. You need to pass the SSA set criteria to qualify as disabled, which they determine in the following ways.
- Ability to work. The SSA will determine if your working ability is limited because of your injury. To do this, they’ll evaluate your previous work performance and the skills obtained while on the job. They’ll then decide if you can continue with your previous job by gauging your current skill level. If you can’t use your skills in a new working environment, the SSA will consider you disabled.
- Severity of your condition. Your incurred injury should be substantial enough to warrant you unemployed for at least 12 months. This includes suffering impairment to your mobility and work capacity, hindering you from carrying out basic job tasks like lifting, sitting, standing, moving or interacting with objects.
- If your condition matches the SSA list of disabilities. For you to be disabled, your condition needs to prevent you from completing a substantial gainful activity (SGA). Some of the common conditions the SSA regards as disabilities include:
- Respiratory illnesses
- Auto-immune disorders
- Loss of speech or hearing
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Cardiovascular diseases
Q: Who is eligible for Social Security disability benefits?
Georgia residents who are disabled and can’t work under full-time employment are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
In addition, certain low-income candidates may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. To qualify for SSI, according to SSA standards, you need to show the following:
- Your current disability or condition is expected to last (or has lasted) at least 12 months
- You’ve worked at a job that paid Social Security taxes
- Your monthly gross income doesn’t exceed $1,310 (as of 2021)
Moreover, qualifications vary, depending on the type of Social Security benefits program. Some require you to have at least 40 credits to qualify for disability benefits while others allow benefits to younger individuals with fewer credits.
Q: How long does it take to apply for disability benefits?
Finishing your application and conducting an over-the-phone or in-person interview is quite simple and takes roughly an hour. The main issue arises in the period it takes for the application to be processed. Usually, it can take anywhere between 30 to 90 days for claim approval.
How quickly you submit your relevant medical documents can also influence the duration of your application. If your doctor takes a long time to submit your records, you should consider sending copies.
Moreover, if you fail to attend SSA scheduled appointments, you could lengthen your application time or even incur a claim denial. To drastically improve your SSD benefits approval time, consider these tips for quicker results.
- Follow up on your application’s progress, as the SSA may require additional documents.
- Ensure you provide all relevant medical documents.
- Gather your doctor’s letters and statements to help the SSA analyze your disability quicker.
- Consider working with an experienced Social Security disability lawyer.
Q: Why are disability applications denied?
By avoiding the mistakes most applicants make, you’re one step closer to guaranteeing a successful claim. That said, the SSA frequently denies claims that fail to adhere to their strict guidelines. Common reasons for denial include:
- Absence of substantial medical proof
- Failure to send the correct medical records, pertaining to your incurred disability
- Failure to include a detailed correlation of your condition to your inability to work
Other common reasons for denial include:
- You earn too much. Georgia residents earning a monthly part-time or full-time salary of more than $1,310 will have their SSI claim rejected. The SSA will only approve of those earning far below their stated income threshold and unable to work when applying for SSI benefits.
- Your disability isn’t considered severe. Another reason why the SSA might deny a claim is if your disability is considered minor. To increase your odds of success, your disability should have severe implications lasting at least a whole year. Anything less and you could have your claim denied.
- You fail to follow through with treatment. Failing to cooperate with your doctor’s prescribed treatment can result in an SSD claim denial. The SSA requires you to follow through with your prescriptions to determine your current ability to work.
- You fail to cooperate with the SSA. Applying for an SSD benefit can be a long and confusing process. However, failing to comply with the SSA during your application will lead to claim denial. It’s in your best interest to closely adhere to their instructions and set appointments if you want to improve your chances of success.
Q: How much will disability pay each month?
The amount of Social Security disability benefits you can receive varies, depending on your gross income and condition. On average, most individuals are paid between $700 and $1,300 monthly, with blind workers receiving up to $2,000 a month.
Q: What can I do if my claim was denied?
If your claim was denied, then you need to request an appeal promptly before the 60-day deadline.
This time around, you need to ensure that you have all your paperwork and relevant information in order. Seeking out legal assistance from an attorney can significantly increase your appeal’s success.
Our Georgia Social Security disability lawyers at WPMH Legal are well-versed in such cases. We will provide skilled legal representation during your disability hearings to secure the best possible outcome in your claim.
Coping with a disability can be financially and emotionally taxing. However, understanding the Social Security system and processes can significantly influence your claim’s success. Our team of dedicated lawyers is here to ensure you receive your rightful disability benefits.