Social Security is a federal program created to provide financial safety for seniors, individuals who are unable to work because of a disability and for impoverished individuals.
If you have a disability that prevents you from working, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can provide the financial security you need.
Unfortunately, the rules and requirements imposed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) makes getting benefits difficult for many people with disabilities. The SSA denies a large portion of disability claims and appeals.
A Missouri Social Security Disability attorney can help. The experienced lawyers of Cottrell Law Office understand how to navigate this complex and frustrating process. We work tirelessly for our clients, to get them the disability benefits they’re entitled to.
Do You Qualify for Missouri Disability Benefits?
To qualify for disability benefits, you must meet the SSA criteria for the type of benefits you seek.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
To qualify for these benefits, you must have worked enough years and paid enough Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes to become fully insured by SSDI. These disability insurance benefits are available to disabled workers, disabled adult children, and widowed or divorced disabled spouses of anyone who qualifies.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
If you have not contributed enough FICA taxes to qualify for SSDI, you may qualify for this benefit if you fall within the income and asset guidelines. These benefits are available to impoverished seniors and disabled persons.
How Does the SSA Define Disability?
The SSA deems you disabled if you have a mental or physical impairment that prevents you from working. The condition must qualify under the SSA definition of life-threatening or it must be severe enough to prevent you from working for at least one year.
To obtain benefits, you must demonstrate that your condition falls within the SSA stated guidelines for disabilities.
The SSA uses a list of acceptable impairments commonly known as the Blue Book. If the Blue Book lists your condition or impairment, it can make getting your benefits approved easier. Even if the Blue Book does not list your condition, however, it is possible to obtain benefits by submitting sufficient proof of your disability in your benefits application.
Documenting an SSDI claim is arguably the most difficult—and critical—aspect of the process. The SSA bases their decision for approval or denial based on the strength of your documentation.
How Do You Document a Missouri Social Security Disability Claim?
All SSDI and SSI claim applications must follow the strict SSA criteria both in content and format. If you submit an incomplete application or if your supporting documentation does not sufficiently prove your disability, the SSA will deny your claim.
Most denials are the result of an incorrect or incomplete benefits claim. Unless you have an in-depth knowledge of what the SSA is looking for specifically, you might not succeed in getting your benefits approved.
Some of the most common factors that can get your claim denied are as follows.
Unqualified and Inexperienced Physicians
A critical component of your claim is a medical assessment known as a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment. If you see a doctor who isn’t familiar with the correct way to conduct or document this assessment, it could cause your claim to be denied. Likewise, if the medical practitioner is not qualified to conduct an RFC assessment, the SSA could reject your claim.
Incomplete or Inapplicable Medical Records
The medical records that support your claim must persuasively document your impairment—and nothing else. Sending incomplete records or records that do not directly pertain to your impairment can lead to a denial of your claim.
Incorrect SSDI or SSI Claim Format
The SSA is extremely unforgiving if you deviate from the required claim format. Your claim could be denied because you forgot to check a box or inadvertently used an incorrect form.
An experienced Missouri Social Security disability attorney can help.
Your lawyer understands how to document your impairment and build a persuasive claim. Your lawyer will ensure you see the right doctors and medical providers to obtain supporting documentation.
How a Missouri Social Security Disability Lawyer Can Help
Understanding the process and providing the correct documentation helps get your benefits approved. The Social Security Disability lawyers of the Cottrell Law Office will work diligently to get your disability benefits approved, even if the SSA has previously denied your claim.
We will refer you to treatment professionals who understand how to conduct the RFC assessment correctly and how to provide the documentation necessary for your SSDI claim.
We will gather other relevant documentation to support your claim, which may include:
- Medical treatment records,
- Medical testing and lab reports
- Surgical records, and
- Treatment plans.
After your claim is submitted, the SSA could require additional records or documents. They may also require you to submit to a compulsory medical examination (CME). Do not respond to any request from the SSA or submit to any additional medical examinations without first consulting your Missouri social security disability lawyer.
Social Security Benefits for the Impoverished
Benefits are available for individuals who are blind, disabled or seniors, and have very limited financial resources. This benefit is known as Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
In order to qualify for SSI, you must have very little income and very few assets. Certain types of assets are exempt and will not be considered during the SSI eligibility process. Understanding these qualification rules will be much easier with the assistance of a knowledgeable social security disability attorney.
If you think you may qualify for SSDI and/or SSI, you need a social security attorney who understands the Social Security system, and how to submit an application that will be approved, or will work hard to obtain the benefits you deserve on appeal.
To discuss your Social Security benefits case, contact the Joplin, MO Social Security disability attorneys at the Cottrell Law Office.
Contact a Missouri Social Security Disability Lawyer Today
To discuss your disability benefits claim, contact a Social Security Disability attorney at the Cottrell Law Office. We can assist you in filing a new claim or appealing a denial of your original claim.