If an accident has left you disabled, you may be qualified to receive Social Security disability benefits. This is a safety net designed to ensure people can still afford to live despite not being able to work due to their disability.
If you’re not sure if you qualify for Social Security disability benefits, or you’re wondering how to apply for them, you should contact an experienced Social Security attorney for help navigating the process. In the meantime, as you begin looking up “Social Security lawyers near me,” take a look at some general facts you should know before applying for Social Security disability benefits in Ohio.
How Do You Know If You’re Eligible for Disability Benefits?
In order to qualify for disability benefits, the Ohio Division of Disability Determination has to consider your medical records to determine if you are disabled. As the agency examines your medical history, you might have to undergo a special test with a doctor to find out more about the extent of your injuries. This agency will then use the answers to five questions to decide if you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
These five questions are as follows:
- Are you currently working? If you earn more than a specific amount set by Social Security, you’ll have a hard time qualifying for benefits.
- Is your condition severe enough to keep you from performing normal work activities for one year or more? If you can still do basic tasks, you might not qualify.
- Is your disability on the listing of impairments? Check the list to see if your condition qualifies for benefits automatically.
- Can you still do your old job? If so, you likely won’t qualify for benefits.
- Can you do any other work? If so, you won’t qualify.
Can You Pass the Work Test?
Even if you can answer the five questions to the satisfaction of the Ohio Division of Disability Determination, you also have to pass the work test in order to qualify.
This test has two parts.
- Recent Work Test -The first one is the recent work test, in which you prove you were working within a few years of becoming disabled. The amount of time you had to have worked depends on your age. For example, if you became disabled at age 29, you have to have worked for four years or more, but if your disability occurred at age 32, you need to have worked for at least five of the ten years beforehand.
- Duration of Work Test – You also need to show that you’ve worked long enough over your lifetime, which is the duration of work test. This number is based on the total number of years you’ve worked, and the amount you need depends on age. You can view the requirements on the Social Security website.
Why You Need a Disability Lawyer’s Help
Now that you know which tests you need to pass for get Social Security disability benefits, what should your next steps be? First, you should contact local disability lawyers who can guide you through the complex, time-consuming application process.
After all, 70 percent of disability applicants in Ohio are turned down the first time, and it typically takes up to five months to process the application. So if you need money soon, it’s important to do everything you can to get approved on the first try in order to avoid having to spend time reversing the decision, which is why hiring Ohio Social Security lawyers is recommended.
In particular, you need the help of Cleveland’s own Friedman, Domiano, & Smith (FDS). Not only has our firm existed for over 30 years, but our managing partner–Jeffrey H. Friedman–has personal experience with a devastating accident leading to a disability. In 1964, he was severely injured in a car accident that left him in a wheelchair for life. So if you’re looking for a sympathetic, compassionate Social Security attorney who will take your case seriously, come to Friedman, Domiano, & Smith for help.