Indiana Social Security Disability Lawyer
We can help you with your SSD application or appeal. You can count on us.
Workplace injuries can turn your life upside down in a second. Without warning, you can sustain a serious injury or illness on the job. When this happens, you might not be able to work or do many of the things you might take for granted.
Fortunately, you may be eligible to receive Social Security disability (SSD) benefits, which are also sometimes referred to as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). However, obtaining getting the benefits you rightfully deserve can sometimes be difficult. That’s why it’s critical that you have an experienced SSD lawyer on your side, standing up for your rights.
We can help you every step of the way at Glaser & Ebbs. Our team of attorneys has been handling complex SSD cases in Indiana for more than three decades. We thoroughly understand the state and federal laws governing SSD cases. We know how the legal process works. That’s why we have such a strong track record of success. Experience matters.
What is your Social Security disability question?
Below, you can find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Social Security disability benefits. If you don’t see your specific question list below, don’t worry. Simply contact our law firm and schedule a free case evaluation with one of our attorneys. We strongly encourage you to do the same even if you see your question listed below. That’s because every SSD case often presents its own unique challenges. That’s why it’s important to have a lawyer on your side helping you every step of the way. Schedule an appointment at one of our offices in Indiana. We can fight for you.
- Who is eligible for Social Security disability?
- How much can I receive in SSD benefits?
- How long can I receive benefits?
- How do I apply for SSD benefits?
- Who decides if I receive benefits?
- What can I do if my SSD application is denied?
- How much time do I have to appeal a denied SSD application?
- How can an SSD lawyer help me?
In general, most people who sustain a disabling injury or illness that makes them unable to work are eligible to receive Social Security disability (SSD) benefits. However, certain rules and regulations do apply, including:
- Your injury or illness must meet the federal government’s definition of a permanent disability.
- Your injury or illness must last at least 12 months.
- Your injury or illness must prevent you from performing "substantial gainful activity."
- You need to have worked for a certain amount of time before you got hurt or sick at work. In general, you need to have worked at least five out of the last 10 years in a job in which you paid into the Social Security system, but the criteria are less stringent for younger workers, or those who were disabled while serving in the military.
- You need to be younger than your full retirement age, which is normally 65 years old.
The rules and regulations for SSD benefits can be confusing. If you are not sure if you qualify for SSD benefits for your injury or illness, simply schedule an appointment at our law firm. We work with people eligible for SSD benefits throughout Indiana and can answer any questions you might have about your potential SSD application.
Your SSD benefit payments will likely be based on your lifetime earnings. That figure will then be used to calculate your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME). The Social Security Administration then uses a formula to calculate your primary insurance amount (PIA) – the amount of money you are normally paid each month.
How much money you receive could also be affected by other benefits awarded to you, including military benefits for injured veterans, as well as state or local government retirement benefits.
In general, most SSDI recipients receive $800 to $1,800 per month in SSD payments. The average SSD payment in 2021 was $1,277 per month. However, such figures can vary widely. That’s why it’s critical to consult with an attorney as soon as possible familiar with SSD law and who truly understands how the system works.
There is no expiration date when it comes to SSD benefits. If you qualify for these payments due to a serious illness or injury, you can and should continue to receive SSD benefits for as long as you are disabled and unable to work. The only time you should stop receiving SSD benefits is if you get better or if you reach retirement age, at which point you are eligible to receive Social Security and other retirement benefits.
Applying for SSD benefits with the Social Security Administration can be a long and complicated process. First and foremost, you need to prove you have a serious injury or illness expected to last at least 12 months. This often involves providing copies of your medical records and other, detailed documentation of your injury or your illness from your doctor. Your application will also often need to contain:
- Employment records for this year and last year, which document how much money you earned at work. Such records often include copies of your tax returns, W2 forms, self-employment tax returns (if applicable) and paychecks.
- Information about your employer, including your employer’s name and address
- Records of your military service, if applicable
- Information about other employers you worked for in the past 15 years
Applying for SSD benefits can be a complicated legal process. That’s why many people hire an experienced SSD lawyer who can assist them with the application process.
Who decides if I receive benefits?
When you apply for SSD benefits in Indiana, the first agency to decide whether you are eligible to receive such payments is normally the Social Security Administration (SSA). While the SSA is a federal organization, each state administers part of the program on behalf of the SSA. In Indiana, this state agency is the Disability Determination Bureau (DDB), which is a part of Indiana’s Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services. Dealing with these state and federal agencies when applying for SSD benefits can be a confusing process. That’s why many people choose to hire an SSD lawyer to work with them and help guide them through the process every step of the way.
Many initial SSD applications are denied for a variety of reasons, including questions about whether the applicant qualifies for SSD benefits to errors made on the application form. In fact, the Social Security Administration denies an estimated 65 percent of all first-time SSDI applications.
Fortunately, you can appeal your denied SSD application. In most cases, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will rule on your request for "reconsideration,” the official terminology for your initial appeal of your denied SSD application. When you appeal, you normally present your case to a judge at an ALJ hearing.
If a judge denies your appeal at an ALJ hearing, you can then request a review by the Social Security Appeals Council. Another option you might want to consider if an ALJ denies your appeal is to file a lawsuit in federal court.
Whatever you decide to do, an SSD lawyer at our Indiana law firm can help you every step of the way. We have extensive experience preparing denied SSD applications for appeal and routinely appear before ALJ judges in Indiana.
If the Social Security Administration denies your initial SSDI application, you have 60 days from the day of your denial to file an appeal. This part of the appeal process is known as the request for reconsideration.
Don’t wait until the last minute to appeal your denied claim. Building a strong and successful appeal often takes a considerable amount of time. That’s why it’s important to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible to start the appeals process and to build the strongest possible legal case.
When you have an experienced, Social Security disability attorney working for you, you can take an aggressive approach right from the start. Your lawyer can help in many ways, including:
- Help you fill out your application for SSD benefits so there’s no mistakes or errors on your application
- Deal with the Social Security Administration on your behalf
- Appeal your denied SSD application and fill out the necessary appeals forms
- Appear with you before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) if necessary
- Appear with you before Social Security Appeals Council, if necessary
- File a lawsuit on your behalf in federal court, if necessary, in pursuit of your SSD benefits
Don’t underestimate the complexity of the SSD application process. Get the help and support you need from an experienced SSD lawyer.