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How to apply for Social Security Benefits

What are Social Security Benefits?

Tampa Bay and Florida residents can file for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits if they can’t work for at least one year or if their medical condition is on the Social Security Administrations List of Impairments. You must be unable to do the work you did before or unable to do any other type of work (factoring in your education and your work experience).

In order to qualify for you must have enough work credits.

  • You must pass a “recent” work test to determine if you’ve worked enough recently.
  • You must pass a “duration” work test to determine if you’ve worked enough given your age. For example, someone around 60 years of age has to have worked 9 and ½ years.

If you are awarded Social Security Disability benefits you will get a monthly award and, after two years, a Medicare Card. If you are blind, you will have more lenient requirements. Your benefits will begin on the sixth month that you’re eligible.

Where to file

While you can file claims by telephone, it’s best to go to your local Tampa, Florida Social Security office – and file your claim in person. You can file your claim at your local Tampa Bay Office. There are Florida offices in Tampa, Clearwater, Orlando, Dade City, Sebring and Winter Haven.

You can also file through online. The Social Security Administration has more information on how to file for disability.

When to file

You should apply when you become disabled. Don’t wait. Your SSDI benefits cease when you reach your normal retirement age. At your retirement age, you get your Social Security benefits.

How a lawyer can help

Many of the claims that are initially denied are denied because the application isn’t complete or doesn’t have all the necessary evidence. Our law firm can help you complete your application and present your best case. We handle SSDI claims on a contingency fee basis. Some of the key documents you will need are:

  • Birth records – a birth certificate or a baptismal certificate
  • Military records – if they apply
  • Health records – hospitals, doctors, medical equipment, medications and reports of your diagnosis, prognosis and treatment
  • Laboratory records – your test results.
  • Wage records – your tax returns, pay stubs and employment verification statements
  • Your banking information – if you win, the Social Security Administration will deposit your monthly benefit directly.
  • Records for related disability claims like worker’s compensation and disability insurance.

SSDI Stages

Your initial application will be reviewed by a Social Security Disability Determination Services office. The DDS will look to see if you meet all the requirements and will examine your medical evidence.

SSDI denials can be appealed. You can ask for a reconsideration. After that, you can ask for an Administrative Law hearing. Appeal rights after that include a Social Security Appeals Council Review and even a Federal District Court lawsuit.

How our law firm can help

If anyone you know is needs to file for social security disability or has had their social security claim denied, let our law firm help you get the recovery you deserve. During this difficult time we will help you receive the maximum compensation allowed by law and we will assist you through every step of the case. Our team of lawyers works with medical professionals, valuation experts, technical experts and other lawyers. Please call us at 1-888-WE-MEAN-IT (1-888-936-3264) or email us at: info@brookslawgroup.com.

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