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Obtaining Social Security Benefits in Land O’ Lakes, FL

How to Recover Your Rightful Social Security Benefits If You Have Suffered a Disabling Medical Condition and How an Experienced Land O’ Lakes Social Security Attorney Can Ensure You Receive Just Compensation

Are you trying to obtain Social Security benefits in Land O’ Lakes, Florida? Are you struggling with your application? Were you previously denied the benefits you should rightfully be getting?  If so, an experienced Land O’ Lakes Social Security attorney can help.

For over 30 years, Mike Murburg, P.A. has been assisting disabled individuals and their families obtain their rightful Social Security benefits. We’ve handled a wide variety of claims, including those pertaining to Social Security Disability Benefits/SSDI, Supplemental Security Income/SSI. We know you and your loved ones have experienced hardship and will not rest until we help you secure the Social Security benefits you deserve.

What Are Social Security Benefits?

When most people think of Social Security, they picture retirement benefits. However, Social Security encompasses much more than just a percentage of wages you’ve earned throughout your work years and are entitled to upon retirement. Social Security benefits can provide much-needed assistance to individuals who have become disabled, whether by natural medical conditions or unforeseen circumstances, such as a military injury or workplace accident. And, contrary to popular belief, Social Security benefits can be obtained by both adults and children.

When a person becomes disabled, it is crucial that they do not hesitate to apply for Social Security benefits. It can take several months for a claim to be processed and approved, so every second counts. And, because the application process can be arduous, applicants should strongly consider acquiring the help of a knowledgeable Land O’ Lakes Social Security disability attorney to ensure that no mistakes are made when filing for benefits.

The Social Security Application Process in Land O’ Lakes

Obtaining Social Security benefits in Land O’ Lakes, Florida can be an uphill battle. Florida has strict rules regarding SSI benefit approval, and many applicants are denied coverage. In fact, less than 27% of applicants actually obtain their benefits after filing an application. Fortunately, individuals whose applications are originally denied can file an appeal. Yet the process of filing both an initial application and an appeal can be arduous.

How to Apply for SSI Benefits

Those who wish to apply for SSI benefits in Land O’ Lakes can do so through the Social Security Administration, either online or by phone at 1-800-772-1213. Anyone who is 18 years of age or older, who does not already receive Social Security benefits and who is deemed “disabled” by the Administration can apply.

Applicants will need to provide the following information:

  • Birth certificate or other proof of birth
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship, residency or green card
  • If the disability resulted from military service prior to 1968, discharge papers will need to be provided
  • Tax return for the previous year
  • Medical records, including documentation of your disability and treatment
  • Proof of any current disability awards, if applicable, such as workers’ compensation, retirement benefits, etc.
  • Bank account information (the account you would like your Social Security disability funds transferred to) or electronic debit card

However, because the application process can be tedious and key details can be missed (including important documents that can increase your chances of getting your benefits approved), it is wise to consult with a Land O’ Lakes disability law firm prior to applying.

What Happens After You Apply?

After you apply for Social Security Benefits in Land O’ Lakes, there is a significant waiting period before you hear back about the ultimate decision. First, the Administration will send you confirmation you’re your application was received. Then, the Administration will review your application and contact you should additional information be required. Once all documentation is attained, the application is processed and the Administration will inform you of its decision. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard back about the final decision right away. It can take several months for the Administration to reach out to applicants regarding the status of the application.

Determining Eligibility: Do You Qualify for Social Security Benefits?

In order to obtain Social Security benefits, you must first provide evidence that you are, in fact, disabled, by SS standards. Then, you must show the Social Security Administration that you have obtained sufficient work credits for consideration under the SSDI program, or, you must prove that your income meets the minimum standards to qualify for the SSI program. If you qualify, you will receive cash benefits monthly until you are able to resume work.

Defining “Disability”

While the term “disability” can vary, the Social Security program follows a unique set of guidelines when determining whether the applicant has suffered a disabling condition. To be considered for Social Security, the applicant must provide evidence of total disability. Partial disability or short-term disability does not qualify the individual for SSI benefits.

Partial and short-term disability victims are not eligible to receive Social Security because it is assumed that the victim and their family have access to other means of income or financial resources while the victim recovers, such as workers’ compensation, income from a loved one or personal savings. It is also assumed that partial and short-term disability victims will either recover much faster than total disability victims and/or they may be able to resume other types of work fairly quickly.

In general, you may qualify for Social Security benefits if:

  • You are not able to perform the work you previously did
  • You are unable to perform other types of work due to your medical condition
  • Your disability is expected to last or has lasted for at least one year, or is expected to be fatal

How the Social Security Program Determines If You Are Disabled

Aside from meeting the Social Security program’s definition of disability, the Administration will follow several guidelines to decide if the applicant is, in fact, disabled. The step-by-step process for determining if an applicant is disabled and qualifies for SSDI is a lengthy process, and involves the following:

  • Determining if the applicant is working – If the applicant is working at the time they file for Social Security benefits and earn more than $1,180 per month, he or she will not be eligible for benefits. If the applicant is not working, the application will be sent to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) Office, which will review the applicant’s condition and determine if he or she suffers from a total disability.
  • Determining if the condition is “severe” – The severity of the condition correlates with the ability of the applicant to work. If the condition interferes with the applicant’s ability to perform basic activities related to work, the claim will be considered. If it does not, the applicant will be automatically disqualified.
  • Confirming the applicant’s condition is found in the program’s list of disabling conditions – The SSA has a list of conditions that are considered disabling, and the applicant’s particular condition must be found in this list in order to qualify for benefits. The conditions on the list are considered so severe that those suffering from any one of these conditions are automatically considered disabled. However, an application may still be considered even if the condition is not listed. The Administration will review the condition and determine if it is of equal severity to those on the list.
  • Determining if the applicant can perform previous workrelated activities – For applicants whose conditions do not appear on the list, the SSA must then determine if their conditions interfere with their ability to perform prior work-related activities. If an applicant can still perform previous job duties, they will not qualify for Social Security benefits.
  • Determining if the applicant can perform other types of work – The SSA will consider several factors when determining if an applicant can perform other types of job duties, such as age, education, former employment and general skill set. Those who are found able to perform work in another field will be disqualified from Social Security benefits.

Filing an Appeal After Being Denied Social Security Benefits

The process that the Social Security Administration undergoes to determine eligibility is a stringent one, but there are times exceptions can be made. If you were originally denied Social Security benefits, do not lose hope. Roughly 70 percent of applications are rejected the first time around. A Land O’ Lakes SSI attorney can help you if your application was dismissed and assist you in obtaining the benefits you deserve by filing an appeal.

As it stands, the waiting period to find out if your application is accepted or not can take a toll on victims and their loved ones. Unfortunately, those who have suffered a disability due to medical reasons or serious injury don’t have the luxury of sitting around and waiting to hear back from the SSA, let alone waiting all this time just to find out their application was denied. It’s important to take action right away upon receiving an SSDI rejection notice.

Many applications are denied because of a lack of evidence. However, by having an attorney on your side who knows exactly what the SSA is looking for in terms of documentation and proof of disability, you can file an appeal with the appropriate doctor notices and accident report information. Remember, while learning your SSDI and SSI benefits were denied can be a frustrating experience, in many cases, submitting an appeal can lead to a successful approval.

Contact a Land O’ Lakes Social Security Attorney for Assistance Applying for Benefits

Being the victim of a disabling medical condition can change your entire life, and those of your loved ones as well. Your daily routine can be severely impacted, as can your ability to earn income and perform standard tasks. Many individuals who become impaired are unable to fully resume work and their lives, as they once knew, are forever changed. While workers’ compensation and insurance can offer some relief, long-term disabilities merit long-term benefits.

If you have questions about Social Security benefits, are considering applying for an SSI claim, or have had your application rejected, help is available right now. Mike Murburg, P.A. is a Land O’ Lakes disability law firm with one goal: help victims and loved ones recover the compensation they deserve. Our legal team works diligently on your behalf so you can obtain Social Security benefits and will fight tirelessly to appeal any application denials.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your options in filing a Social Security benefits application, an appeal or lawsuit.