How To Apply For Disability In Georgia
If you have one or more disabilities that prevent you from working, you may qualify for either Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance . Both of these programs are federally run by an organization known as the Social Security Administration , the same organization that also provides Social Security Retirement benefits. This means applying for disability benefits is typically very similar in every state. Here is an overview of information and resources about Social Security Disability in Georgia.
To find your local Social Security field office, Disability Determinations Services office, or an Office of Disability Adjudication and Review in Georgia, click here.
Is Your Condition Severe
Your condition must significantly limit your ability to do basic work-related activities, such as lifting, standing, walking, sitting, or remembering for at least 12 months. If it does not, we will find that you do not have a qualifying disability.
If your condition does interfere with basic work-related activities, we go to Step 3.
Applying For Disability Benefits
You can apply for Social Security Disability benefits online or in person at your local Social Security office. You will be asked to fill out a number of forms, which you should complete with as much detail as possible, and you may be asked to attend a consultative exam. After completing the disability application process, you will receive a decision from the SSA within two to four months. If you are approved for benefits, this notice will tell you when benefits will begin, which benefits you will be receiving, and how much you will be receiving each month. If you are denied benefits, you have 60 days from the date of denial to appeal the SSAs decision to deny benefits.
If you do need to pursue a Social Security Disability appeal, do not give up hope. A number of applicants who are denied during the initial stage of the application process go on to successfully receive benefits through the process of an appeal
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Ensure Your Impairment Meets The Criteria
The SSA has a group of criteria based on body part or function for which significant negative changes are determined to be severe enough as to be disabling without further inquiry. The SSA has drawn up its Listing of Impairments in such a way that the listings often require medical findings and tests results that are not normally found in treatment notes.
For this reason, the remaining 2 steps often must be completed prior to a finding of disability for most applicants.
Who Qualifies For Ssdi
- People who have worked for a number of years and had enough money taken out of their paychecks for Social Security
- Self-employed people who paid self-employment taxes
- You must meet Social Securitys very strict definition of disability to qualify for SSDI.
- Having a low income or financial needs do not affect whether you can get SSDI.
If you get turned down for SSDI, reapply, and appeal if necessary. Many cases end up being approved after an appeal. The amount you get from SSDI will be based on how long you worked, and how much Social Security tax was taken from your pay. Once you apply for SSDI, the disability clock starts running.
If your disability application is approved, you will usually receive your first benefit payment six months after the date the Social Security Administration finds that your disability began. You will also become eligible for Medicare after you’ve received SSDI benefits for 2 years.
If you qualify and start getting SSDI, your spouse and any eligible children can also apply for SSDI. If you find you dont qualify for SSDI, but you are disabled and have limited income and resources, look into Supplemental Security Income . This program also can pay benefits to the disabled, but is based on your income and need.
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How Do I Know If I Qualify For Social Security Disability In Georgia
Social Security Disability benefits were created as insurance for people who cant work because of a medical condition. However, the process is more complicated than it sounds. If you submit an application for Social Security Disability , youll need to understand what those who review your application are looking for to confirm that you qualify for benefits.
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What Conditions Qualify For Disability
The listing manual includes the following categories of conditions, which will automatically qualify you for disability if you meet the requirements in the listing:
- musculoskeletal problems, such as back and joint injuries
- cardiovascular conditions, such as heart failure or coronary artery disease
- blood disorders, such as hemolytic or sickle cell anemia or bone marrow failure.
To learn the disability requirements for getting disability benefits for many of the above conditions, see our section of articles on Medical Conditions, Impairments, and Problems.
The conditions most likely to get approved are multiple sclerosis and some types of cancers. Respiratory disorders and joint disease are also high on the list.
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How Much Work Do You Need
In addition to meeting our definition of disability, you must have worked long enough and recently enough under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits.
Social Security work credits are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits each year.
The amount needed for a work credit changes from year to year. In 2022, for example, you earn one credit for each $1,510 in wages or self-employment income. When you’ve earned $6,040 you’ve earned your four credits for the year.
The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when your disability begins. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year your disability begins. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.
For more information on whether you qualify, refer to How You Earn Credits.
When To Hire A Georgia Disability Lawyer
Over the years, we have found that many folks have little to know understanding of the disability process. Many believe that being diagnosed with a condition that sounds horrible means they are automatically disabled. And many individuals know that they feel horrible most days, which should be enough to be found disabled.
Unfortunately, this feeling is never quite enough. Instead, the disability application process can be grueling and unnecessarily imbalanced against those seeking benefits. Much of the imbalance stems from agency rules that require evidentiary showings that can be unduly burdensome. This is particularly true when considering the changes made in the Listing of Impairments over the last decade, as well as the changes made in the domains relevant to childhood disability.
And as you may already know, medical record-keeping leaves much to be desired. Treating physicians and caregivers are often not diligent in accurately noting a patients specific complaints in their charts. Another obstacle in this regard since the shift from handwritten notes to software-managed electronic files is the repeated boilerplate charts that see very little revision of patient complaints and clinical findings over time.
Contact us today for your free consultation.
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What Are The Options For Georgia Disability
Georgia residents who meet the federal definition of disability have options for help on both the federal and state levels. To get the most benefits, a person should start with the federal programs, of which there are two available.
Through the Social Security Administration , Georgians can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance , or Supplemental Security Income . The first looks mostly at prior work history, the second at financial need.
Currently about 28%, or around one in four adults in Georgia have a disability. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , most are in the mobility or cognition-related disability category. Following that are people who struggle with independent living, hearing, vision, and self-care. Basically 2,150,179 people in Georgia have a disability but only a small percentage of that number are getting any assistance.
How do you increase your chances? Well, retaininga Georgia disability attorney is one way, but well get to that. The best place to start, however, is by applying.
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How Can I Find Out More About Ssdi
- Visit www.ssa.gov online choose disability
- Visit ssabest.benefits.gov to learn about Social Security benefits you might be eligible for including SSDI
- Go to your nearest Social Security office
You can find out how much you would get from SSDI by looking at your Social Security statement. The statement shows your work history and an estimate of what your benefits would be at this time. To get a Social Security statement:
- Request a statement online through Social Securitys website at www.ssa.gov. Click on My Social Security on the left side of the page.
Note that SSDI is different from SSI .
SSI is for people who didnt pay enough into Social Security during their working years, or who havent worked recently enough to qualify for SSDI. However, some people who were employed for short times or whose income was very low may qualify for both SSDI and SSI because their SSDI payment is so low. In that case, the SSI payment is reduced by the amount of SSDI the person gets. See more information on Supplemental Security Income .
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Information About Family Members
- Social Security numbers and proof of age for each family member who may qualify for benefits and
- Proof of marriage, if your spouse is applying for benefits, as well as dates of prior marriages, if applicable.
If you don’t have all the documents you need, don’t delay filing for benefits. We will help you get the information you need.
How Is Ssdi Calculated In Georgia
If you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits or SSDI, the payment you receive each month is based on your average lifetime income earnings before your disability started. And the amount of monthly benefits that you receive is not based on the type of disability you have or how much money you currently have in the bank. Most people who are awarded benefits receive anywhere from $800 to $1,800 per month. But if you are receiving disability payments from other sources, your payments could be reduced. Keep reading to learn more about SSDI payments in Georgia.
Hiring A Georgia Social Security Disability Attorney
Most Georgia Social Security Disability applicants will wait more than a year before obtaining a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Many applicants do not want to wait a year or more before receiving disability benefits and these individuals often wonder if there is any way to avoid having to endure the lengthy disability appeal process. The only way for a Georgia Social Security Disability applicant to avoid a disability hearing is to be approved for benefits during the initial stage of the disability claim process. Fortunately, retaining the services of a qualified Georgia Social Security Disability lawyer may increase your chances of receiving an approval of your initial disability application.
When you work with a qualified Georgia Social Security Disability attorney, your lawyer will help you through the initial application process by assisting you in obtaining the medical evidence that will be needed to support your disability claim. They will also help you prepare your application so that it may be presented properly to the Social Security Administration. This will increase your chances of obtaining an approval at the initial stage of the claim process and will help you avoid the hassles of the disability appeal process. If, for some reason, your application for disability benefits is denied by the Social Security Administration, your Georgia Social Security Disability attorney can move forward to represent you during the disability appeal process.
Long Term Disability Summary Of Benefits
- Provides a benefit of 60% of your monthly earnings to a maximum of $7,500 per month.
- Members are eligible on the first day following 12 consecutive months as an active employee.
- Benefit payments begin after 120 days of disability.
- Disability benefits continue for as long as total disability continues, or to age 65.
- Monthly LTD benefit will be reduced by any disability income received from other sources, such as benefits from other pension plans, social security, workers compensation and/or state disability plans, among others.
For complete details on the long-term disability benefit, please refer to the Long-Term Disability Policy
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Adults With A Disability That Began Before Age 22
An adult who has a disability that began before age 22 may be eligible for benefits if their parent is deceased or starts receiving retirement or disability benefits. We consider this a “child’s” benefit because it is paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings record.
The Disabled Adult Child who may be an adopted child, or, in some cases, a stepchild, grandchild, or step grandchild must be unmarried, age 18 or older, have a qualified disability that started before age 22, and meet the definition of disability for adults.
It is not necessary that the DAC ever worked. Benefits are paid based on the parent’s earnings record.
- A DAC must not have substantial earnings. The amount of earnings we consider substantial increases each year. In 2022, this means working and earning more than $1,350 a month.
Applying For Disability Benefits In Person Or By Phone
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Special Rules For People Who Are Blind Or Have Low Vision
We consider you to be legally blind under Social Security rules if your vision cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 in your better eye. We will also consider you legally blind if your visual field is 20 degrees or less, even with a corrective lens. Many people who meet the legal definition of blindness still have some sight and may be able to read large print and get around without a cane or a guide dog.
If you do not meet the legal definition of blindness, you may still qualify for disability benefits. This may be the case if your vision problems alone or combined with other health problems prevent you from working.
There are several special rules for people who are blind that recognize the severe impact of blindness on a person’s ability to work. For example, the monthly earnings limit for people who are blind is generally higher than the limit that applies to non-blind workers with disabilities.
In 2022, the monthly earnings limit is $2,260.
Benefits For Widows Or Widowers With Disabilities
If something happens to a worker, benefits may be payable to their widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse with a disability if the following conditions are met:
- The widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse is between ages 50 and 60.
- The widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse has a medical condition that meets our definition of disability for adults and the disability started before or within seven years of the worker’s death.
Widows, widowers, and surviving divorced spouses cannot apply online for survivors benefits. If they want to apply for these benefits, they should contact Social Security immediately at 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment
To speed up the application process, complete an Adult Disability Report and have it available at the time of your appointment.
We use the same definition of disability for widows and widowers as we do for workers.
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If Your Application Is Denied
After we review your application and the information you provided, we may decide you do not meet the qualifications for disability benefits.
If you disagree with our decision, you have the right to ask us to look at your application again. The notice you receive from us that says you dont qualify will explain how to appeal our decision and the time period in which you must make the request.
If we decide you dont qualify:
Because you are not disabled under our rules, you can appeal our decision online.
The online disability report will ask you for updated information about your medical condition and any treatment, tests, or doctor visits since we made our decision.
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