When you have worked hard in your career and then get injured, you deserve to claim the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits that have been promised to you. This program is crucial to helping you pay the bills while you are hurt until you can work again. However, the claims process can be frustrating and difficult without the help of a skilled SSDI attorney.

At Calbom & Schwab, we are focused on guiding clients through the hurdles they face in the application and appeals process. When you hire our firm, you work with an experienced Walla Walla Social Security Disability lawyer who will fight for what you are entitled to receive. Our team will ensure you do not make mistakes that could delay your payments. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.

Why Calbom & Schwab Should Be Your Choice for Your Social Security Disability Claim

At Calbom & Schwab, our team believes in supporting the needs of individuals over the desires of large insurance companies and corporations. Insurance representatives are not interested in your suffering and financial fears. They want to avoid paying money to you, even when you have contributed to the Social Security system your entire working life.

Your Walla Walla Social Security Disability attorney will help you complete your application and supply all the necessary documentation to maximize your chances of approval. A significant number of first-time claims are denied for a number of reasons, and we will help you avoid those issues. If you have already filed and been denied, we can assist you with a strong appeal case.

If you are hurt and focusing on recovering, we will take on the paperwork and communications. You can recuperate in peace while we put our knowledge and skill to work negotiating for approval and the most benefits you can receive. We help you gather documentation to support your claim and will pursue your appeal as soon as is needed. 

How Social Security Disability Benefits Work

As an employee in the United States, part of your paycheck goes into an account for disability insurance from the Social Security Administration (SSA). When you are hurt and unable to work, you can file a claim to receive monthly checks to pay your medical expenses, housing, food, and other bills. Even if you also have workers’ compensation, you can receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

To earn benefits, you must work a certain amount of years and earn a minimum amount of income. This allows you to accrue work credits each year so you can qualify for payments. For example, if you average $35,000 of income each year over the time you work, this amount is used as your baseline income. You can accumulate up to four work credits in a single year, and these are also used to determine your Social Security retirement benefits when you stop working. 

Receiving SSDI benefits depends on meeting the following requirements:

  • Prior to age 24: You need to earn six credits in the three years before you become disabled.
  • Between ages 24 and 31: You must work at least half the time between age 21 until you become disabled. 
  • At age 31 and above: You must earn a minimum of 20 credits in the ten years before you become disabled.

How Much Do Social Security Disability Benefits Pay?

The answer to this is very frustrating because the amount you receive is based on many things. Fortunately, there are established equations that determine what your payments will be, and the amount is adjusted annually to account for the cost of living. It also takes into account increases in healthcare costs and other factors.

The current maximum amount of SSDI benefits in 2023 is $3,627, while the average is $1,438. This can help you with supporting yourself and your family until you can return to work. If you become permanently disabled and cannot go back to a full-time job or even work at all, you can remain eligible for SSDI benefits with the help of a skilled attorney. You can even receive retroactive payments.

Applying for benefits does not take much time, but getting your payments does. It could be several months before the checks arrive, but you can apply for another program to cover the gap until your benefits start. You could qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and your Social Security Disability attorney in Walla Walla can assist you with this process. 

How Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Compares to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) 

The payments from SSI are meant for older individuals and those with a limited income. If you are unable to work and have no other financial resources, you may qualify for benefits under SSI. You do not have to have worked to be eligible.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are earmarked for people who have worked to earn credits and then become disabled. There are slightly different eligibility requirements for each program, but you could potentially receive payments from both programs while you recover from your injury or illness. A Social Security Disability lawyer in Walla Walla from our offices will explain your options.

Qualifying to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits

Although you can apply online, by telephone, or in person, the steps required to receive SSDI benefits are not as easy as they may seem. There are many conditions you must meet before you are eligible to file a claim, and these can be confusing if it is your first time using the system. There are mistakes you could make on the application that will cause a denial, but our SSDI attorneys will help you avoid them.

We can meet with you to determine if you qualify by reviewing your work history to answer the following questions before you begin:

  • Have you worked long enough under the Social Security Administration’s guidelines?
  • Have you worked recently enough (usually within the previous ten years)?
  • Have you earned enough work credits in your career?
  • Are you physically or mentally unable to do the work you did before you were injured or became sick?
  • Are you unable to perform other jobs because of your medical condition?
  • Has your illness or injury lasted at least twelve months?
  • Is it expected to last at least twelve months?
  • Is your monthly income this year less than what is required by the Social Security Administration?

All these considerations will be part of your technical review that a representative will conduct after you apply. If we discuss these before you apply, our attorneys can help you make any adjustments that may ensure you are eligible. If this cannot be done, your SSDI lawyers can save you some of the time and headache you might experience during the application process.

Can Your Condition Automatically Qualify You for SSDI Benefits?

Your Calbom & Schwab Social Security attorney will ensure you have as much documentation as possible to support your claim for benefits. We are also familiar with special conditions which could allow you to receive payments more quickly and with less frustration. The Social Security Administration has a list of disabling conditions that qualify you for fast-track processing.

You can also receive benefits more quickly when you have received a diagnosis of a serious disease. For instance, certain cancers are terminal with little hope of recovery. In these situations, you could qualify for a compassionate allowance so you can pay your bills without having to return to work. 

Finally, you could receive benefits when you have low vision or are blind, you have lost your spouse, you are a wounded warrior, or you are the legal guardian of a disabled child. Your Social Security lawyer can help you review the requirements for each and how to apply.

Common Conditions That Can Speed Up Your Claim

Part of the review process for SSDI claims is a review of your medical condition and how it prevents you from working. You should supply as much medical documentation as possible to support your claim. This is especially true if you have certain physical or mental impairments that will likely shorten your life significantly. 

For example, the following illnesses can remove your ability to work at any job:

  • Gastrointestinal issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome
  • Heart failure, coronary artery disease, or other cardiovascular conditions
  • Kidney disease or kidney cancer
  • Liver disease
  • Musculoskeletal illnesses
  • Neurological problems such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, or epilepsy
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, HIV, lupus, or other immune system conditions
  • Severe mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, autism, cognitive dysfunction, schizophrenia, or traumatic brain injury
  • Respiratory conditions, including asthma and COPD
  • Sensory damage to your vision, hearing, or ability to speak

Again, the more medical proof you can show of these conditions, the stronger your chance of being approved. It is not enough to have a letter from your doctor stating you have an illness or injury. You will need to provide test results, X-rays, CT scans, and other documentation of your physical or mental condition. 

All these results must be produced using accepted medical procedures and come from approved physicians and specialists. However, this is where our Social Security lawyers can step up and manage this process for you so you can focus on getting better. 

Reasons Why Your Social Security Disability Claims May Be Denied

Denials for first-time applications are common, but they often happen for easily corrected reasons. You will receive a letter by mail explaining why your claim was denied. When you bring it to our Social Security Disability Insurance attorneys, we can discuss what caused the denial and how to fix it. 

Common reasons for a denied application involve missing details, incomplete information, or too little medical evidence. It is crucial to fill out every field and answer every question. If you are unsure about what to include, our Social Security attorneys can speak with you during a free consultation to help. We will also advise you on how to obtain the medical proof you need to send with your form. 

It also helps to show you are following your doctor’s orders, taking the medicine you have been prescribed, and otherwise trying to heal. The reviewer may ask for more information, and you should provide it promptly. If not, they could deny your claim for non-cooperation. 

Can I Work While I Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?

In some cases, you could also be turned down if you already have too much income and do not appear to need the benefits. The payments are intended to help you when you cannot work, so taking another job or continuing to work if you are self-employed could cause a denial.

This can even affect you if you are already getting benefits from a successful claim. If the SSA finds out you are bringing in money or working, they may not only end your payments but require you to pay back what you received. Again, your Social Security Disability Insurance lawyer can advise you on how to avoid this.

Filing an Appeal When Your Social Security Disability Benefits Are Denied

When you are already sick or hurt, getting a denial letter can feel overwhelming. Your stress levels may skyrocket when you learn you have been turned down for benefits you have worked for and need to survive. However, it does not mean you have no options.

When you work with our SSD lawyers, we will take on the burden of discovering what happened and how to repair the problem. We put our experience to work for you to file an appeal within 60 days, as required by the Social Security Administration. You should not start over, but contact us to find out what to do next.

During your appeal, our SSD attorneys will help you provide the necessary information and be by your side for any conversations with the SSA representatives. You can be denied up to five times, but we will work to help you secure your benefits as quickly as possible. Putting your trust in a compassionate Social Security Disability Insurance attorney can make this process easier and less worrying.  

Schedule a Meeting With the Walla Walla Social Security Disability Lawyers at Calbom & Schwab Today

At Calbom & Schwab, we offer experience from nearly 70 years of service for your case. Rather than face a potential financial crisis when you have been injured and become unable to work, you can let us help you build a strong claim. We are committed to helping you get the payments you need as soon as possible. 

Our Walla Walla Social Security Disability lawyers are waiting to hear from you. Schedule a free initial case review by calling us or using our easy online form today.