Social Security Disability
A Myrtle Beach Attorney Is Here to Help You Through the Process
If you are unable to work due to a disability or illness, we understand your frustration. Did you know that your FICA taxes have paid toward this federal insurance program just in case you are hurt or unwell, and you need support?
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The Lam Law Firm is here to help with your Social Security disability claims.
Unfortunately, successfully receiving Social Security Disability benefits proves more difficult than just applying for your share of compensation from the Social Security program. The reality is that over two-thirds of all applications for disability benefits are denied each year. The Social Security Administration even readily admits that many valid claims are denied each year simply for technical reasons or clerical errors. The application process requires the collection of medical records and work history, filling out forms, and negotiating through complex government bureaucracy. At the Lam Law Firm we prepare all stages of the application process, whether it is your initial application or at the hearing level. Attorney Lam and her staff provide dedicated, caring and compassionate legal representation to every client that walks through the door. We understand the pain and frustration that our clients are faced with and try to make this process as easy as possible.
We invite you to speak with us directly at 843-839-9995 for a complimentary in-office consultation. We are here to fight for the benefits you are entitled to. Call us today, we are ready to listen.
5 / 5 stars
I found Attorney Lam to be straightforward and honest. She was very knowledgeable in the disability process and coached me through the administrative judge’s meeting.
– J. V.
Frequently Asked Questions about Social Security Disability Claims
How do I qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits?
The Social Security Administration follows strict medical and work-history guidelines to determine eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. You must have paid into the Social Security system through FICA taxes and have a recent-enough work history. You also must have a disabling medical condition that is expected to prevent you from working for 12 months and earning above the level of Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA).
How long must I be unable to work to qualify for Social Security benefits?
Your medical condition must have kept you from working for at least 12 months. If you have been unable to work for at least a year, or believe your condition will prevent you from working that long, you should consider applying for disability benefits.
How does the Social Security Administration decide if I am disabled?
SSA follows a five-step disability determination process. Your medical condition must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of a disability. SSA will also review your current work history, skills, age, education, and ability to adapt to different work. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will decide your eligibility using a five step process asking the following questions:
- 1. Are you currently working?
- 2. Is your medical condition severe?
- 3. Is Your Condition on the SSA’s List of Impairments?
- 4. Can you return to your previous job?
- 5. Can you do another type of work?
What type of benefits will I receive?
Once you have been approved for Social Security Disability Insurance, you receive:
- Cash Benefits You will begin receiving cash benefits approximately six months after becoming disabled. Payments are made monthly. SSA prefers to direct-deposit payments so, if you do not have a bank account, SSA will strongly recommend that you establish one. The amount you receive is based on your earnings history and will continue for as long as you are unable to work and your medical condition has not improved. SSA conducts periodic reviews of all SSDI cases to determine continued eligibility of disability benefits.
- Medicare You will be eligible for Medicare 24 months after receiving SSDI benefits. However, if you have a serious illness such as kidney failure and you require dialysis, you may qualify immediately.
- Social Security Retirement Benefits Insurance (Protection of Social Security Cash Benefits) Social Security Disability Insurance benefits automatically converts into retirement benefits when you reach retirement age. By establishing that your absence from the work force is due to a disability, you are assured that the Social Security Administration will not reduce your future retirement benefits.
What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
SSI – Supplemental Security Income – is a federal benefit program available to those who are totally disabled and whose income and assets fall within certain limits. No previous work history is required for SSI. In some cases, children can obtain SSI benefits.
What is the SSA’s definition of “Disability”?
The SSA will consider five things: whether you are currently working; the severity of your medical condition (mental or physical); if your medical condition is on its “List of Impairments;” your ability to do the work you did before; and your ability to do any other type of work. Click here to see the full lists of impairments: http://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/AdultListings.htm
When should I apply for disability benefits?
As soon as you become disabled. Most people are turned down on their initial application, do not get discouraged. It can take up to two years to get to the hearing and appeals process and usually requires an attorney to fight for your benefits.
Is it difficult to get SSD benefits?
Yes. SSA denies about 60 percent of the people filing initial applications.
What happens during a Social Security Disability hearing?
The people present will be you, your attorney (if you have one), the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), and a secretary who operates a tape recorder. The ALJ or your attorney will get testimony from you and any witnesses that you may introduce as part of your case. Your lawyer or the ALJ may also invite a medical professional or vocational expert to testify. Hearings are typically very informal. Hearings are held in Myrtle Beach at 350 Hilton Rd Myrtle Beach, SC 29572. At the Lam Law Firm, we will help prepare you for your hearing so you will know what to expect.
What are my chances of winning at the hearing stage?
About 50 percent of claimants are awarded benefits at the hearing level.
I was awarded Workers’ Compensation benefits. Will the Compensation Board’s decision improve my chances of winning Social Security Disability benefits?
Winning Workers’ Compensation benefits will have little or no impact on Social Security’s decision to award or deny you Disability benefits. However, if your SSD claim is approved, the amount you receive could be affected by the amount of your Workers’ Compensation benefit.