As a Social Security disability attorney serving Shreveport and surrounding area, Phillip M. Hendry has worked with numerous people in Northwest Louisiana to obtain the Social Security disability benefits they deserve. Unlike the familiar monthly old age checks, disability benefits are designed to help individuals of all ages who find themselves sidelined and unable to work because of an illness or injury.

Two Social Security Benefit Programs

Disabled individuals can apply for two benefit programs, SSDI and SSI. A Social Security disability attorney can help you to determine whether you qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI).

If you paid into the Social Security system for years, SSDI can help you when you can no longer engage in meaningful work due to a medical issue. The Administration bases the monthly SSDI benefit payment on your previous income and the amount you contributed to the Social Security system.

SSI payments go to individuals with very low income. You can qualify for SSI even if you never held a paying job or you have never paid into the Social Security system. The monthly benefit amount for SSI is lower than for SSDI.

The Social Security Disability Application Process

Applying for SSDI and SSI is frustrating and complicated. An applicant can easily be disqualified because she did not understand the process and was unaware of its many pitfalls. Shreveport area Social Security disability attorney Phillip M. Hendry knows how to avoid those pitfalls and make the application process as efficient and painless as possible.

Are You Eligible for Social Security Disability Payments?

Before you can qualify for benefits, the Social Security Administration must review data on many aspects of your life to determine if you are unable to work and need financial assistance. An experienced disability attorney will be thoroughly familiar with the process and what it takes to qualify. Contact the office of  Phillip M. Hendry to schedule a free consultation to evaluate whether you can qualify for benefits.

Here is a sampling of the questions the Social Security Administration will ask during the application process.

What is your work status?

Even if you’re working, you might still qualify for benefits. You may still qualify as long as your average monthly income does not exceed a certain amount.

How long did you pay into the Social Security system?

To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have worked and contributed to the Social Security system for a minimum period of time. SSI does not have a work requirement.

What is your impairment?

The Social Security Administration has a lengthy list of disabling conditions it uses to determine whether your condition is severe enough to warrant monthly disability payments. Your impairment must be on the list or considered at least as severe as the conditions that appear on the list. Here are some common impairments:

  • Back or neck issues
  • Emotional and mental health issues including depression and anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Heart and lung conditions

How severe is your impairment?

If your condition makes it difficult for you to support yourself, you may qualify for SSDI payments.

Have you suffered with your condition for a long time?

You may qualify for disability benefits if you have been unable to work for at least twelve months, or if your doctors expect that you will not be able to work for at least twelve months.

Can you perform a job you used to do?

If your condition prevents you from performing your most recent work, the Social Security Administration will evaluate the following to determine if you can return to the type of work you used to do or whether you can perform any other work for pay:

  • Physical and mental condition
  • Skills
  • Work history
  • Education
  • Age

The SSD Application Process

You would do well to think twice before you file your disability application without the assistance of a Social Security disability attorney who serves the Shreveport area. The Social Security Administration denies most initial applications. Many applicants are forced to enter into a frustratingly slow appeal process. Even then, there is no guarantee that the appeal will succeed. Hiring a Social Security disability attorney before you apply will help increase your chance of qualifying for benefits after the first round and without having to resort to a lengthy appeal.

You Pay No Fees or Costs Until Approved

You will not have to pay any upfront costs or fees when you hire Social Security disability attorney Phillip Hendry. When your benefits are approved, the Social Security Administration will award you a lump sum to pay you for the months your application was pending. The attorney’s fee and any costs are paid out of the lump sum. If you’re denied benefits, you will never have pay attorney’s fees. You can start your application today with a call to our office at (318) 553-5900.