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Breaking Down Long Term Disability Claims

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Long-Term Disability Lawyer Helping Injured Workers

Social Security Disability Insurance (or SSDI for short), is a federal program that provides benefits to individuals who have suffered injuries or illnesses that prevent them from engaging in gainful employment. It is available to disabled workers who are insured by the program, which requires that they have worked for a certain length of time and paid Social Security taxes into the program. Workers who have paid into the system and who are able to demonstrate that their disability will prevent them from working for at least 12 months are eligible to apply. If you have questions about your eligibility, contact a long-term disability lawyer at our firm for assistance.

How Does the Social Security Administration Define Disability?

A key eligibility requirement for long-term disability benefits is that the applicant is disabled. But how does the Social Security Administration (SSA), the government agency that administers the program, decide whether an individual is “disabled”? To do so, the agency examines a number of factors, such as:

  • Whether the applicant is currently working
  • Whether the applicant’s condition is “severe” (i.e., it limits his or her ability to perform basic motor tasks like standing, walking, and lifting)
  • Whether the applicant’s injury or illness is on the SSA’s official registry of disabling impairments (if it is not, the applicant must prove that the condition is at least as serious as a listed impairment)
  • Whether the applicant is capable of performing in their previous profession
  • Whether the applicant is capable of transitioning to a different line of work

What Benefits Are Available?

The SSDI program provides cash benefits to those who qualify. The amount varies from person to person, as it is based on the amount of income on which the recipient has paid Social Security taxes over the course of their career. The SSA then calculates an average monthly amount that the recipient has paid (known as the Average Indexed Monthly Earnings) and then applies a complex weighted formula to that amount to calculate the recipient’s primary insurance amount (PIA). While each recipient’s benefits will vary, the maximum monthly benefit that a recipient may receive in 2019 is $2,861.  You are encouraged to speak to our long-term disability lawyers to ensure you have the most up-to-date information as it pertains to your specific situation.

The Application Process

To apply for long-term disability, the applicant must first submit a Disability Benefit Application to the SSA. This application requires the applicant to disclose certain information, including:

  • Information about the applicant (birth date, place of birth, Social Security number, bank account information, etc.)
  • Information about the applicant’s medical condition (contact information for doctors, names of medicines taken, dates and results of medical tests, etc.)
  • Information about the applicant’s work (salary, name, and address of employer, work history, etc.).

The SSA will then make an initial determination as to the applicant’s eligibility and may request that he or she undergo a further medical examination. The agency will then inform the applicant of its initial decision.

Contact a Long-Term Disability Lawyer at Turley, Redmond and Rosasco

The long-term disability application process is much more difficult than it sounds here, and not all applicants are successful on their first attempt. In many cases, applications must go through several rounds of review and appeal before they are approved. To maximize your chances of qualifying for long-term disability, please contact the long-term disability lawyers at Turley, Redmond, and Rosasco by using our online form or calling us at 516-745-5666 (Garden City), 631-582-3700 (Ronkonkoma), or 631-399-0400 (Shirley). We serve New York City and Long Island, including Nassau County and Suffolk County.


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