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FloridaSocial Security Disability

Social Security DisabilityThe attorneys at The Gordon Law Firm understand the impact a denied Social Security disability claim can have on an individual and their family, especially when these benefits are the applicant’s main source of income. More often than not, applications for Social Security disability are initially denied; however, an initial denial does not necessarily mean that the applicant is not entitled to benefits. Unfortunately, applicants who have been rejected may choose to abandon their claims instead of proceeding with an appeal — a process that is undoubtedly intimidating to claimants—where they could potentially recover the benefits they are rightfully owed. At The Gordon Law Firm, our Social Security attorneys have extensive experience representing individuals in the application and appeals processes, and have the resources needed to recover the benefits our clients deserve.

If you are applying for Social Security Disability benefits, or have been denied SSD, please fill out our contact form for a free case review. We will review your claim and determine whether you are eligible for benefits.

Types of Social Security Disability Benefits

Disability Insurance Benefits (SSD or SSDI): This is most popular benefit provided by the SSA. Disability insurance benefits cover millions of people who have worked recently, but are now disabled. Eligible applicants include those who have worked a total of at least five of the 10 years before developing their disabilities. Dependents, including children and spouses, may also be able to collect if a parent qualifies for SSDI. Disability benefit amounts are based on the applicant’s work history and earnings.

Disabled Adult Child Benefits (DAC): Disabled children between the ages of 18 and 22 may be eligible for benefits if their parents receive Social Security retirement benefits or SSD, or are deceased.

Disabled Widow or Widower (DWB): These benefits are provided to widows or widowers over the age of 50 who develop disabilities within seven years of their spouses’ deaths. The widow or widower is required to have been have been married for a minimum of 10 years to the deceased.

Social Security Disability Work Credit Requirements

The SSA determines whether workers have worked long enough to receive benefits by calculating the amounts they should receive and converting their earnings into work credits. A worker can earn four credits for a year of work, depending on his or her yearly income (one quarter of coverage, or QC) changes every year.

In 2012, a worker earned one work credit for every $1,130 of wages or self-employment income. However, when the worker earned $4,520, they were capped for the year as he or she received four credits. The formula for this number is complicated, but it is recalibrated annually and never decreases.

Benefits and Children

Social Security Death Benefits
Social Security is meant to be a form of protection for working parents and their families. If a parent dies, their children may be entitled to receive benefits to compensate for the financial loss.

Unmarried children may collect benefits after a parent’s death if they are:

  • Younger than 18
  • Between the ages of 18 and 19, but are enrolled as full-time students at secondary schools
  • Ages 18 and older, but have serious disabilities that manifested before they were 22

Benefits for Disabled Children

SSI may be able to help families with children who have severe disabilities if they have minimal income and limited resources. These benefits may be paid regardless of a parent’s ability to work, and will continue as long as a child is disabled and unable to provide for himself or herself financially.

Children may be eligible for SSI Disability insurance if:

  • They have physical or mental conditions that are so severe that they result in serious functional limitations
  • They have these conditions for at least 12 months
  • The conditions will likely be the cause of the their deaths
  • They are not gainfully employed and doing work the SSI administration considers “substantial work”

Long-Term Disability Benefits

Some individuals have long-term disability (LTD) insurance policies through their jobs, carry their own coverage, or have these policies worked into their pension plans. Similarly to SSD, LTD compensates disabled employees for a portion of the income they would have received if they were working. LTD has its own set of complicated rules and tests that determine eligibility and payout amounts, and, oftentimes, claimants are required to apply for SSD and LTD simultaneously. While SSD policies have a set of standardized rules and procedures, those which govern LTD policies can vary. Insurance companies have a history of routinely denying LTD policy claims and may stop payment prematurely even if the individual is still sick, injured or disabled.

If you have applied for long-term disability (LTD) assistance and have had your claim denied or had your benefits end prematurely, contact us today for assistance. We may also be able to assist if you have not yet applied for benefits or have already been denied.