Published on: November 9, 2022
If you live in Florida and are disabled with a medical condition that prevents you from being able to work, you may be eligible for monthly disability benefits. Typically, these benefits are paid to recipients by the Social Security Administration, and are generally available in two varieties:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Benefits: SSDI benefits are those that the Social Security Administration pays to individuals with a qualifying disability who are also considered “insured”. This means that they worked a job for a sufficient length of time, through which they paid money into the Social Security system.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits: Unlike SSDI benefits, SSI benefits are typically available to those individuals with limited income and resources, and who did not work a job through which they paid into the system for a sufficient length of time.
Determining which type of benefits, you may qualify for is only the first step, however. You must also file a disability claim, which must then be approved by the Social Security Administration.
Generally, the steps of the disability claims process include:
- Determining whether you may be eligible: To qualify for either SSDI or SSI, you must be able to establish that you have a condition that the SSA considers to be medically disabling and which renders you unable to work and earn an income as you otherwise normally would. This generally means that you have an impairment that is supported by medical evidence and a qualifying diagnosis, which will last for a year or longer than a year or result in death. You must also be able to present evidence regarding your current level of income and resources, as well as your work history. If the SSA determines that you are disabled and unable to work based on all of the evidence you present, then you may qualify for SSDI and/or SSI benefits.
- Gathering and organizing evidence to support your claim: To increase your chances of success when you file your disability claim, gathering the right evidence will be important. This may consist of medical records, tax returns, statements from employers or co-workers, statements from doctors and other medical providers, and more. Finding an attorney who can help you gather and organize the evidence you need will be essential.
- Filing your claim with the Social Security Administration: After you have gathered your evidence, your next step should be officially filing the claim. There will be a variety of forms to complete and information to provide, and your attorney can guide you through this process. The SSA allows claimants to file a claim online at ssa.gov, over the phone at 1-800-772-1213, or at a local Social Security office. Your application will be processed through a local office and a state of Florida agency, which will issue an initial decision on your application.
- Waiting for and assessing the response: Generally, you will receive an initial response to your application within 3 to 5 months. This timeline could vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case. If your claim is approved at this juncture, you will start to receive monthly payments from the SSA shortly thereafter. If not, you will likely want to consider filing an appeal.
- Filing an appeal if necessary: It’s important to realize that the SSA often denies applications for benefits the first time a claim is filed. This doesn’t mean that your claim will never be approved – but it does mean that you need to find an attorney who can assist you in putting your best foot forward as you appeal the denial.
While this information regarding disability benefits is intended to be helpful, it is certainly no substitute for the advice and guidance of a knowledgeable and experienced attorney. To maximize your chances of receiving the benefits you need and deserve, finding the right legal team is essential. Wherever you find yourself in the process of seeking benefits, the attorneys at Disability Experts Florida can help.
Disability Experts Florida – Here for You
Being disabled presents many challenges. It may be difficult to pay your bills and provide for yourself and your family while also trying to treat your condition and work towards better health. It can be difficult to function normally and to enjoy the daily activities of life the way you otherwise would. If you find yourself in this situation, the last thing you need is legal stress on top of it.
Instead of worrying, you can leave those matters in the capable hands of the team at Disability Experts Florida. When you do, you can rest assured that our team will pursue the very best legal strategies on your behalf, because we have the knowledge and experience you need on your side. If you’re ready to get started, we’re here to help. Give us a call. We look forward to speaking with you soon.