Social Security Disability Lawyer Peoria AZ | Phillips Law Group
If you have questions about Social Security Disability benefits or have already filed an application and been denied, our attorneys may be able to help you.
Our Peoria Social Security Disability lawyers have extensive knowledge of the process of applying for benefits, along with eligibility requirements. We offer a free consultation that comes with no obligation to hire our firm. If you do hire us, we will not charge for representing you unless you receive benefits.
For more than 27 years, the attorneys at Phillips Law Group have been pursuing and recovering compensation for injury victims in Arizona. In that time, we have obtained more than $1 billion in compensation on behalf of our clients.
Schedule a free consultation by calling us today. Our phone lines are open 24/7. 1-800-706-3000
What Are the Eligibility Requirements for Social Security Disability?
Your disability must meet certain criteria, or your will not be eligible to receive federal disability benefits.
These benefits are intended for people with long-term disabilities, so you will not qualify unless your medical condition is expected to last a minimum of one year or cause your death. Your medical condition may also qualify if it has already lasted 12 months or more.
Your medical condition must also be one that is listed in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Blue Book, or your medical condition must meet the criteria for one of the conditions listed in the book.
Many disability applicants are not working or have stopped working because of their disability. However, you may still be able to work and qualify for disability benefits, provided you are not earning more than the substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit for the year you are applying.
Minors could be eligible if their mental or physical impairment will last one year or lead to death and it creates severe limitations in the things they can do.
If you have questions about your eligibility, you can talk to one of our licensed attorneys for free.
Call a Peoria Social Security Disability lawyer at 1-800-706-3000 .
What Benefit Programs Can I Apply for?
The SSA has multiple benefit programs based on an applicant’s age, assets and whether he or she is a widow or widower.
We are available to discuss whether you may be eligible for one of these programs:
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
This program is meant for those who were working but suffered a severe injury or were diagnosed with a medical condition and their symptoms are either preventing them from working or causing them to work much less than before.
If your condition meets the SSA definition of a disability, and you have earned enough work credits based on your age, you may qualify for benefits. A work credit is equal to a certain amount of income earned from working. In 2020, one work credit equals $1,410 in wages. Most applicants need to have earned 40 work credits, with 20 of those being earned in the past 10 years.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Applicants for this program are generally not working and do not have very much work history, so they will not qualify for SSDI benefits. Provided you have a qualifying medical condition and do not have assets exceeding a certain value, you may be eligible for this program. Individuals cannot have more than $2,000 in assets while couples cannot have more than $3,000 in assets.
Some people with disabilities may think they are ineligible for SSI because of their assets. However, there are a variety of rules on what is counted as an asset. That is why you should consider discussing your situation with an experienced attorney.
If your spouse was receiving benefits before passing away, you may be eligible to continue receiving those benefits if you are at least 60 years of age. If you are 50 years of age, but have a qualifying disability, you may also be eligible for benefits. You do not receive 100 percent of your deceased spouse’s benefits until you reach full retirement age.
Benefits for Disabled Adult Children
If your child becomes disabled after turning 18, he or she may be eligible for benefits up until he or she reaches his or her 22nd birthday, provided he or she does not earn more than the SGA limit.
Our attorneys are here to assist you and answer your questions.
Can I Work and Still Receive Benefits?
Yes, it is possible to work while receiving Social Security Disability benefits, provided you do not earn more than the SGA limit, which increases each year.
In 2020, the SGA limits for SSDI benefits are:
- $1,260 a month for non-blind individuals
- $2,110 per month for blind individuals
The SGA limits for SSI benefits in 2020 are:
- $783 per month for individuals
- $1,175 per month for couples
If you apply for SSI benefits, some of your income may not count against these limits.
There is no limit on the number of hours you can work per week and still qualify for benefits, but this is a factor that may get a close look if you are self-employed. Those who are self-employed often put in a lot of hours of work they do not get paid for.
Ticket to Work Program
If your disability has forced you out of work, you may be able to participate in the SSA’s Ticket to Work program. Participants in this program will not have to undergo a continuing disability review, provided they meet their timely progress requirements.
Continuing disability reviews are conducted at certain times depending on the severity of an applicant’s disability. The purpose of these reviews is to determine if the claimant’s medical condition still meets SSA criteria.
You may be eligible to participate in the Ticket to Work program is you have received benefits for three years without a review.
Working while receiving disability benefits is a complex situation you should strongly consider discussing with a licensed attorney.
What Do I Need to Complete a Disability Application?
The SSA gives you three options for applying for benefits:
- Call the toll-free number: 1-800-772-1213
- Apply online
- Visit your local Social Security office and apply in person
Applying for benefits is a complex process and applicants need to prove a lot of information to prove they have a qualifying disability and, if they are applying for SSDI, enough work credits based on their age.
There are many documents you should collect before applying to make sure you can provide the information that is required. These documents include:
- Most recent tax return if you are self-employed
- Birth certificate
- Social Security number
- Records of your work history
- Medical records about your disability, including records from your primary care doctor, specialist, caseworker, therapist and anyone else who provided treatment or diagnosis of your disability
- Results of tests you underwent
- Contact information for the doctors who provided treatment
- Names and dosages of prescription medications you are taking
- Marriage certificate if your spouse will be applying for benefits along with you
- Proof of age of any other family members who may be applying for benefits
Our Peoria Social Security Disability attorneys are here to help you gather the information you need to build a robust case for why you should receive benefits. We understand how important it is to have detailed evidence of your disability and how it limits you.
How Can a Licensed Attorney Assist Me With My Claim?
Did you know that a majority of initial disability applications are denied?
Even applications that look like they should definitely be approved have been denied. This is often because the SSA is trying to avoid paying benefits for fraudulent applications.
This is why you should strongly consider being represented by an experienced attorney with extensive knowledge of these issues, including what it takes to be approved, and how to build a strong case if you need to appeal a denied application.
Our Peoria Social Security Disability attorneys know many of the common reasons why applications are denied, which helps us to avoid these mistakes when assisting our clients.
Minor Mistakes on Your Application
Our attorneys carefully review applications to find and correct any minor mistakes, errors or oversights. Even small mistakes could prevent you from receiving disability benefits.
Too Little Evidence of Your Disability
You need detailed evidence of your diagnosis and how it is affecting you and preventing you from working. You need medical records from doctors saying you are unable to work. This may include test results, notes from appointments with doctors and other medical records.
Your Disability is a Short-Term Problem
Unless you have a disability that will last a minimum of one year or cause your death, you do not have a qualifying disability. You will need medical evidence of why your disability is expected to last at least 12 months.
You Do Not Have Enough Work History
If you are applying for SSDI benefits, you must have earned enough work credits based on your age. If you have not earned enough money in your career or have not been working long enough, you will likely not qualify for benefits, even if you have a qualifying disability. In these situations, you should talk to your Peoria Social Security Disability lawyer about applying for SSI benefits, because you may qualify because of your limited work history.
You Earn Too Much Money
You cannot earn more than the SGA limit for the year when you are applying. However, it is important to discuss this issue with a licensed attorney, as there are things that are excluded from income that may put you below the limit.
You Did Not Continue Treatment
Claims examiners must determine if you cannot work specifically because of your disability. One of the questions they may ask when reviewing a claim is: has the applicant tried to improve his or her medical condition through medical treatment?
If you do not go to your doctor or take steps to improve your health, it is harder for examiners to make an informed decision. If you have been seeking treatment to improve your condition and it is not helping you work more, and the condition fits the criteria in the SSA Blue Book, examiners may be more likely to decide you qualify for benefits.
You Were Already Denied
In most circumstances, appealing a claim is better than simply filing a new one for the same disability. If you have already been denied, claims examiners are more likely to deny again.
You Did Not Cooperate With the SSA
Make sure to do your best to provide the information claims examiners ask for and go to medical exams as requested.
Contact Phillips Law Group today to learn more about how we may be able to assist you.
What Can I Do if My Claim is Denied?
You may still be able to obtain benefits by appealing your denied claim. This is a complex process and you could greatly benefit from having a licensed attorney representing you each step of the way. Our attorneys know how to gather relevant evidence to bolster a denied application.
The first step in an appeal is filing a request for reconsideration within 60 days of your denial. Your request is reviewed by another claims examiner to determine if the denial should be overturned.
The second step is a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ), where your attorney can present evidence and you will likely be questioned by the judge about your medical condition, treatment and other issues relevant to your claim.
If the judge does not overturn the denial of your claim, request a review by the Appeals Council. If they decide to hear your review, they will decide if the judge’s decision was correct.
Your last option for appealing a denied claim is to file a federal lawsuit and a federal court can review your claim, but you will not be able to provide new evidence to bolster your claim.
If you have questions about the appeals process, contact our Peoria Social Security Disability attorneys for a free consultation. We are prepared to manage every step of the process on your behalf to try to recover the benefits you are seeking.
Phillips Law Group: 1-800-706-3000
When Will I Receive My Benefits if My Application is Approved?
If your application is approved, benefits should be paid out about one or two months later. It may take a lot longer for you to receive back pay covering the time between when you applied and when you were approved for benefits.
If 90 days or more pass after your application is approved and you have not received benefits, you should call your lawyer so he or she can call the SSA to find out what is happening.
Make sure to monitor your bank account for a direct deposit from the federal government, if you provided your bank account information on your application.
Call Our Peoria Social Security Disability Attorneys
For more than 27 years, we have assisted more than 155,000 consumer clients and obtained more than $1 billion in compensation.
We understand how important disability benefits are for those who are no longer able to work or have limited assets and are severely limited by a physical or mental condition. We also know many applications are rejected the first time and we are prepared to file an appeal on your behalf if you have a viable claim.
Schedule your free legal consultation today. There are no upfront fees or obligations. We represent these claims on contingency, so there are no fees unless our clients receive benefits.
Call our Peoria Social Security Disability lawyers today at 1-800-706-3000 . We are ready to answer your questions.
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