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Can I collect SSD benefits if I become disabled?

Social security disability

Some workers can't continue working due to an injury. Some can return to work, but can't perform their jobs the same way they did before their injuries occurred. If you have sustained a disability, you may be eligible for social security disability (SSD) benefits. This pays for monthly financial benefits based on your average lifetime earnings.

In order to qualify for SSD benefits, you must:

  • Have sustained an injury, illness or trauma that resulted in a partial or permanent disability.
  • Have a long-term or life-threatening disability.
  • Sustained a disability before the age of 22 or after serving in the armed forces.
  • Sustained a disability after the death of a spouse.
  • Qualify for benefits under a relative's disabled worker account.

Increasing your chances of getting approved for SSD benefits

In order to increase your chances of getting approved for SSD benefits, you must do the following:

  • Get medical treatment. You can't have gaps in medical treatment. You must go to the doctor consistently.
  • Get a proper diagnosis. Your medical condition must be based on an accurate diagnosis. There can't be any gray areas.
  • Adhere to what your doctor tells you. Avoid certain physical activities and take your medications. Communicate with your doctor about side effects. While it can be tempting to engage in certain physical activities, doing so can hurt your chances of getting SSD benefits.
  • Obtain documentation from your doctor regarding your work limitations. Your medical condition must be translated into work-capacity limitations. Your doctor must fill out a functional capacity evaluation that addresses your work limitations.
  • Prepare for your hearing. Know what types of questions will be asked at your hearing. Be aware that anything you tell the judge at a hearing can be used against you. Be sure that your medical records and other important documents are available at your hearing. An experienced attorney can take care of this for you.
  • Hire an attorney. Never go into a SSD hearing alone. You need an experienced attorney on your side who understand how the SSD system works and how to make a strong argument on your behalf. Any mistakes during a hearing could result in your benefits being delayed or denied.

Proving your social security disability case

Proving your disability isn't going to be easy. There are certain key pieces of evidence your attorney can use to convince a judge that you have a legitimate SSD case. For example, the following evidence is relevant in your case:

  • Abnormalities found in the spine through an MRI, CT scan or X-ray
  • Medication prescriptions issued by your doctor
  • Surgeries you underwent related to your injury
  • Records showing that you missed work due to your injury

Contact an attorney for help with your case

Many SSD applications are denied by the Social Security Administration each year. It's critical that you have a strong legal advocate on your side who will leave no stone unturned when handling your case. The legal team at Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP have a wealth of legal knowledge pertaining to SSD law. We'll work with you every step of the way to help maximize your chances of getting SSD benefits.

We have more than 40 years of experience serving clients throughout NYC and New York State. Contact us online to get started on your claim.

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