Social Security Disability Claims Lawyer in Plano, Texas
Having a disability is not easy and can make a variety of things in life difficult, including maintaining a stable job. When you have a disability that prevents you from earning a sufficient income or prevents you from working at all, you have the option to file a disability claim. A disability claim can grant you Social Security Disability Insurance that can be used to cover your loss of income.
Disability insurance like this can cover your basic living expenses like bills, food, clothing, medical treatments, and housing. That way, you can cover your expenses and any treatments needed to manage your disability. Some disability benefits programs will allow you to keep working under certain conditions while others can cover you if you are not able to work at all. In either case, you have options to choose from, but this all depends on the requirements of the Social Security Administration.
Some people may go through the whole disability claims process only to find out weeks later through a letter from the SSA that their application was rejected or postponed. This can happen because the person did not include a vital document, through insurance bad faith tactics, or the person simply did not meet the full requirements of the SSA program. Knowing the requirements, what bad faith insurance looks like, and what steps you can take if your disability application was denied can all help secure the Plano disability benefits you need.
You can also work with an experienced Plano Social Security Disability Lawyer by contacting the Brad Thomas Law Office at (972) 863-2367 in Plano for a consultation today. I can help you figure out why your application was rejected and whether any legal steps can be taken to secure your disability benefits.
Different Types of Disability Insurance in Texas
There are two main types of disability benefits programs in Texas. These are both federal government programs that are regulated by the SSA. They include the Social Security Disability Insurance program and the Supplemental Security Income program. Knowing the key differences between these two programs is vital because each of these come with different eligibility requirements.
The SSDI program requires you to have a work history that contributed a certain amount of money to Social Security for a certain number of years. This can be based on how long you have worked and how much income you earned over that time period. If you live with any family members like a spouse or child, they may also be able to receive disability benefits if they are legally considered to be dependent.
One downside of the SSDI program is that you will not start receiving your monthly income benefits until six months after your disability has been established and approved by the SSA. This means you will want to have six months’ worth of savings to cover your expenses in the meantime. Medicare also takes a while to kick in compared to other programs. You will not receive Medicare until 24 months after your disability benefits start.
The SSI program, on the other hand, starts giving you monthly benefits only one month after your disability claim is submitted. This program applies if you are blind, age 65 or older, or have a disability and your income is low as a result of either of these things. In Texas, your Medicare will start as soon as you are deemed eligible for SSI by the SSA. This means less wait time and more disability coverage.
Since SSI is based on your income rather than your work history, eligibility is a requirement. Your monthly income must be below a certain dollar amount. If your monthly income is too high, you will be deemed ineligible for the SSI program. Be sure to ask a Social Security Disability attorney at Brad Thomas Law Office if you have any questions about this. I am here to ensure that you understand the full extent of your benefits and your options.
There are also private disability insurance programs you can apply for in Plano and throughout Texas. Each of these may come with different requirements and benefits.
Can I Receive SSDI and SSI Benefits at the Same Time?
Many people wonder if they can apply for and have both SSDI and SSI benefits. The answer is yes, you can have both. This is called concurrent benefits under the SSA. The only catch is the eligibility for concurrent benefits. To qualify for them, you need to meet the requirements for the SSDI program and your monthly payments from the program must be low.
To remain enrolled in the SSI program, your income must remain under a certain level determined by the SSA. In other words, to qualify for both the SSI and SSDI programs at the same time you need to have:
- An adequate work history paid into Social Security.
- A monthly income that does not exceed a certain amount determined by the SSA and the Texas government.
If you have questions about whether you qualify, contact the Social Security Disability attorney at Brad Thomas Law Office in Plano to determine if you are eligible for one or both programs.
Who Qualifies for Disability Benefits in Plano?
The SSA has specific requirements for those who qualify for disability benefits. Seeking eligibility for the SSI or SSDI program in Plano means you will need to submit certain documents, be prepared to fill out certain information on the application forms, and collect certain types of evidence depending on the type of disability you have. As easy as this may sound, this process can be tedious and confusing at times.
For one, the SSA has a very precise definition of what qualifies as a disability under their program. The SSA only covers physical or mental disabilities that will last at least 12 months or be diagnosed to lead to early death and these disabilities must be significant enough to impair your ability to work the same number of work hours or to work at all. However, if you do not meet this specific definition of a disability, you have the option to have the SSA assess your residual functional capacity.
Residual functional capacity is a way of assessing whether you can perform the same work tasks as you were able to perform before your disability started. This gives you a second chance if your disability did not meet the standards of the definition. However, this assessment will also see if you can do other types of work to make a living, which may or may not lead to no disability benefits.
Things You May Need for Your Disability Insurance Application
Evidence is everything when it comes to saving time during the disability benefits application process, followed by meeting all the requirements. Be prepared to answer questions about your work history, basic information, your disability, and medical history. The evidence you will need revolves around your disability and involves medical records of your disability provided by your doctor.
Some of the most common medical documentation required for a strong disability benefits application include:
- Objective Medical Evidence: This includes results of lab tests, official medical diagnosis by a doctor, and recorded symptoms or signs of your disability by a medical professional.
- Medical Opinions: Any statements made about your disability by a medical professional. These statements are usually about how your disability limits your functioning and ability to work or perform certain tasks.
- Non-Medical Sources Evidence: Any evidence not gathered from a medical professional.
- Prior Administrative Medical Findings: Medical findings from the past that were found by a medical or psychological consultant.
What Disabilities Are Covered in Texas by Disability Benefits?
By this point, you might be wondering what disabilities are covered by the SSA. You can find all this information in the SSA Blue Book, on the SSA government website. The Blue Book includes adult and child listings of disabilities along with all the requirements for each disability.
Different disabilities come with different requirements concerning medical evidence and what limitations or symptoms your disability comes with. Common medical conditions included in these listings for adults and children include disorders of the:
- Immune system
- Cardiovascular system
- Neurological system
- Endocrine system
- Digestive system
- Mind (mental disorders)
- Respiratory system
- Special senses
If you have questions about whether or not you qualify for disability benefits, you should speak with a qualified Social Security Disability lawyer in Plano as soon as possible. I may be able to assist you in getting the benefits that you need to live. Call Brad Thomas Law Office today to see if I can help you.
The Fast-Track Way to Receive Disability Benefits in Plano
Not everyone has heard of the fast-track way to obtain disability benefits in Plano. A program exists that automatically qualifies people with certain disabilities if all the requirements are met. Programs like this can save you time and money when you find yourself in a desperate situation when you need disability benefits as soon as possible.
The two fast-track disability benefits programs offered by the SSA are the Compassionate Allowances program and the Quick Disability Determinations program. CAL uses a quick screener for the most severe disabilities and automatically qualifies you for benefits if you meet all the criteria for any of these severe disabilities. Some examples of what counts as severe disabilities are:
- Brain disorders
- Certain types of cancer
- Uncommon childhood medical disorders
- Genetic disease like X-Linked Lymphoproliferative Disease
- Dementia like Parkinson’s Disease
- Cardiovascular disorders like Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
QDD works similarly by screening people using computerized technology to screen people for certain criteria. This screener works by identifying people with disabilities that are more likely to qualify for benefits and people who are more likely to have the necessary medical evidence available in a timely manner. Using a program like this puts you at the top of the disability determination list.
Be Wary of Bad Faith Disability Insurance Tactics
Even disability benefits programs can be guilty of bad faith insurance tactics. Being aware of bad faith insurance in Texas is important for protecting yourself from unfair decisions. Bad faith is simply the opposite of good faith, a standard that requires insurance companies to be honest and fair in their decisions regarding clients.
You have been affected by bad faith insurance if you faced:
- Confusing technical jargon that made you agree to something you did not understand.
- Your disability claim was denied or delayed for insufficient reasons.
- Despite submitting a sufficient amount of evidence and meeting all the requirements, your disability claim was still denied.
- Excuses are made for delaying your claim.
- Consultative examinations of your disability that are biased.
If you suspect any of these tactics were used against you to wrongfully deny or delay your disability claim, then consider reaching out to Brad Thomas Law Office to get your questions answered. Depending on what happened, you might be able to sue for punitive damages, consequential damages, and legal fees incurred as a result.
My Disability Claim Was Rejected, Now What?
There are four main levels of appeals when it comes to Social Security Disability benefits. The first level is reconsideration, a phase where your claim is reviewed by a different SSA reviewer to see if there was any possible bias during the first review. You can submit new evidence during this phase.
A hearing by an administrative law judge is the next phase and involves a hearing in court or online where you can argue why your disability claim was wrongfully denied. If your disability claim is still denied, you have the third option of requesting a review by the appeals council.
Disability claims denied during the appeals council phase will go into the last phase called Federal Court Review. This involves filing a civil lawsuit in federal district court. Working with an experienced disability lawyer in Plano can help a lot with this process and might save a significant amount of time.
How Can the Brad Thomas Law Office Help Me?
Whether you have questions about Texas Social Security Disability benefits, need help with the disability benefits application process, or find yourself with a rejection letter from the SSA, attorney Brad Thomas can help. Many people do not have their disability claims approved in the initial phase and many people have to go through the Social Security Disability appeals process to have their claim accepted. You do not have to face these obstacles alone.
Dealing with a disability benefits appeal or even trying to fill out the application can be confusing and stressful. I understand how challenging this whole process can be and are dedicated to working with you to help you attain the benefits you need to maintain your financial future. Call Brad Thomas Law Office today at (972) 863-2367 for a consultation in Plano.