Victor Malca – Your Trusted Social Security Disability Attorney Based In Plantation, Florida
Looking to increase your chances of getting approved for disability benefits in Florida? Atty. Victor Malca, an experienced and trusted social security disability attorney in Plantation Florida, can help.
Social Security Disability Benefits in Plantation, Florida, just like the rest of the country, is managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). So to get disability benefits, you must meet the eligibility requirements set forth by the SSA.
Unfortunately, applying for a social security disability benefit in Plantation, Florida, is not that easy. Up to 65% of initial applications are denied by the SSA. Most of those who filed a Request for Reconsideration was also denied. Plus, applicants have to wait for up to two years to schedule a disability hearing. Then it will take another 2 to 3 months for the judge to release a decision.
To make the process faster, we will help you ensure that your application won’t be denied the first time. We’ll help you secure medical evidence and other necessary supporting documents to increase your chances of getting approved. Our long list of satisfied clients is proof that we never give up until your disability benefits claims are granted.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about claiming social security disability benefits in Plantation Florida, and how a social security disability lawyer can make the process easier for you.
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Social Security Disability Benefits in Plantation Florida: An Overview
Social security disability benefits is a federal insurance system designed to provide assistance to people who cannot work due to a physical or mental condition. Since it’s a federal program, the rules and application process tend to be the same anywhere in the country.
In Florida, however, there are no government-funded temporary disability benefits. You can only claim compensation for your disability if your medical condition can be considered long-term.
But just like the rest of the country, the SSA offers two types of disability benefits in Plantation, Florida:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) – This applies to people who have worked enough years and have paid social security taxes.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – It’s intended for people aged 65 years or older who are blind or disabled. They must also be able to prove that they have limited income and assets.
Since these benefits are intended for different types of beneficiaries, they each have their own eligibility and documentary requirements.
If you want to file a disability claim in Plantation Florida, you can do so through the SSA’s online portal, by phone, or by visiting their office in person.
However, as I said, most disability claims are denied at the initial stage. If the SSA denies your claim, you have the right to appeal their decision. Depending on your documents and medical evidence, it may include up to four stages: reconsideration, a hearing with the administrative law judge (ALJ), a review by the Appeals Council, and a federal court review.
While you can only appeal your disability claim up to five times, there’s no limit on how many times you can file for disability. Though the likelihood of getting your claim approved decreases every time you get a denial.
Claiming SSDI Benefits
If you’re planning to claim SSDI benefits, here’s everything you need to know about it:
Who Can Apply for SSDI?
SSDI benefits have only two basic eligibility requirements:
- you have worked long enough and recently enough in a job that pays social security taxes
- your condition meets the SSA’s definition of disability
If your job pays social security credits, you get to earn work credits. In general, you need 40 credits to qualify for SSDI. Half of which must be earned in the last 10 years prior to the start of your disability. Though the work credit requirements tend to be lower for workers who got disabled before the age of 31.
For your condition to meet the SSA’s definition of disability, it:
- must be expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death
- must prevent you from going back to work or engaging in any Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)
Remember, however, that the SSA only pays for total disability. If you are only partially disabled and can still do work and earn an income equal to or more than the current SGA limit, your claim can get denied.
How Are Work Credits Computed?
Work credits are computed depending on how long you’ve worked and your income.
To earn one (1) credit, you need to earn a certain amount of annual income. This amount tends to change each year. For 2023, you get a credit for every $1,640 you earn. But you can only earn up to a maximum of 4 work credits a year.
So, for instance, if your annual income is $20,000 in 2023, you have more than enough to earn the maximum amount of credits. You can check the SSA’s site to know how much income you need to earn a work credit.
What Conditions Are Considered for Disability?
As mentioned, the SSA requires that your medical condition prevents you from doing the work you did before or adjust to other types of work. It must also be expected to last for at least one year or result in death.
This is a vague definition, so the SSA maintains a blue book listing all the medical conditions that they consider a disability. If your medical condition is included in the list, it increases your chances of getting approved for disability benefits. Below are common types of medical conditions that are considered disabilities by the SSA:
- Musculoskeletal System Disorders
- Special Senses and Speech Impairment
- Respiratory Disorders
- Cardiovascular System Disorders
- Digestive System Disorders
- Genitourinary Disorders
- Hematological Disorders
- Skin Disorders
- Endocrine Disorders
- Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems
- Neurological Disorders
- Mental Disorders
- Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases)
- Immune System Disorders
That said, some medical conditions affect different people in different ways. So if your condition isn’t on the list, the SSA will evaluate it based on the severity of impairment it causes you. This is why you need the expertise of good Plantation social security disability lawyers like us. We can help you obtain the proper evidentiary requirements to support your disability claim, thus increasing your chances of getting approved.
How Much SSDI Amount Can You Receive?
If you qualify for SSDI benefits, the monthly amount you will receive will be based on your average lifetime earnings before your disability. The average monthly SSDI benefit for 2023 is $1,483, so you can expect your SSDI benefits to be somewhere near that amount.
However, it’s hard to determine the exact amount you will get before your application is approved. The SSA uses a complicated formula to compute the benefits for each person. This is why SSDI benefit amounts tend to vary significantly for each individual. Although, you can get a rough estimate of how much you can get by using the SSA’s social security disability benefits calculator.
Claiming SSI Benefits
Unlike SSDI, SSI benefits are awarded based on financial needs rather than work history. Thus if your work credits are lesser than the prescribed amount for SSDI, you can still apply for SSI.
Who Can Apply for SSI Benefits?
To qualify for SSI, you must:
- be 65 years or older
- be disabled or legally blind
- have limited income or resources
- be a US citizen or an alien who is legally staying in the country
- reside in one of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands
- have not left the country for at least a full calendar month or 30 consecutive days
- not be confined to an institution that uses government funding
For a full list of eligibility qualifications, you can visit the SSA site.
How Much SSI Benefits Can You Expect?
In general, your SSI benefits will depend on:
- your financial situation
- other sources of income
- the current year’s cost of living adjustment (COLA)
- whether you’re claiming benefits as an individual or as a couple
The SSA, however, imposes a limit on SSI benefit amounts which changes every year. For 2023, the maximum monthly SSI amount is $914 for an eligible individual and $1,371 for eligible couples. This amount is reduced depending on your countable income.
Can You Get SSDI and SSI at the Same Time?
Yes, it’s possible to receive both SSDI and SSI at the same time if you qualify for both. However, if you’ve returned to work and are earning more than the SGA amount or the income ceiling for SSI, your benefits may stop.
How to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits in Plantation, Florida
There are three ways to apply for social security disability benefits in Florida: online, in person, or by phone.
Online application for SSDI requires that you are 18 years and older, not currently receiving any social security benefits and have not been denied disability benefits in the last 60 days.
Having pertinent information will also make the online application process much easier. The system will ask for your and your spouse’s (current and former) social security number and date and place of birth. You also have to provide your date and place of marriage and date of divorce or death (if applicable). The names and birthdates of your minor children will also come in handy as well as your banking information. Details about your medical condition and work are needed too.
If you don’t qualify for online application and live too far away or are not capable of traveling, you can always apply by phone. Just call 800-772-1213 or the local SSA office in Plantation, Florida, at +1 800-772-1213. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may call 800-325-0778 to help you. The SSA will still ask for your social security number to start your application. Your social security disability lawyer can also do this for you.
You can also visit your local SSA office to submit your application in person. Make sure to call them beforehand for an appointment. They’re open Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
What to Do if Your Application Gets Denied
If the SSA decides that you are not qualified for the social security benefit you’ve applied for, they will send you a notice saying so. Also in it are instructions on how to appeal the decision and the time period in which you are allowed to do so.
Appeals can be made online, by phone, or by personally visiting their office. You may call 1-800-772-1213 toll-free to request an appeal or schedule an appointment.
Or you can visit Victor Malca Law at our office for legal assistance on how to properly appeal your case. We have the best social security disability lawyers in Florida who are very much willing to offer a free consultation. We also offer workers compensation lawyer services.
What if Your Benefits Are Reduced?
Your social security benefits will be reduced if you have other sources of income or are receiving other government-regulated disability benefits.
The Social Security Disability Benefits application process involves a series of complicated steps governed by different departments. This makes it rather hard to track and check the application of your status. Hiring a social security disability lawyer with a proven track record will help you easily keep track of your application status and hasten the process.
If you want to do it yourself, here are three ways to check your social security disability application status:
- Online – If you filed your application online, you can also keep track of its status on the SSA’s website.
- Calling your local SSA Office (there are 51 in Florida)
- Reaching out to the disability examiner who’s been assigned to evaluate your case. You can get the information from the Disability Determination Services (DDS).
Social Security Office Location in Plantation, Florida
Social Security Administration – Plantation Office
8501 W Sunrise Blvd ste 100, Plantation, FL 33322, USA
Victor Malca Law – A Trusted Name in Florida
Victor Malca Law has over 27 years of litigation experience, we are the most trusted workers’ compensation lawyers in Florida. Our area of expertise is in representing injured workers on compensation benefit cases and disabled individuals claim social security disability benefits from our office in Plantation to Fort Lauderdale and all of Florida.
Our unwavering advocacy for employee rights and privileges are also recognized by our peers. Book a free consultation today.