Social Security Disability Lawyers in Phoenix
If you’ve recently lost the ability to work in the Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale or Glendale areas, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits to help you and your family stay afloat.
Whether your current situation was caused by illness or injury, Social Security disability is often an efficient government resource to help citizens like you. If you need assistance applying for benefits, the top disability benefits lawyers at Cruz & Associates can help you navigate this process with ease.
What is Social Security Disability?
The Social Security Disability Insurance program, also known as SSDI, is available to people who have worked in a job that paid taxes into Social Security. You must have recently worked in this job for a certain amount of time in order to qualify. In addition to the particular requirements for previous work history, you must also meet specific medical requirements to apply for SSDI. After you’ve been approved to receive SSDI, you will be paid a certain amount monthly based on financial need.
Note that SSDI differs from Supplemental Security Income, also known as SSI, in that SSI does not require a previous job that paid taxes into Social Security. It does have the same medical requirements as SSDI, but SSI is typically reserved for disabled adults and children with limited income and resources.
How Do I Apply for Social Security Disability?
The application process for SSDI and SSI can be long, but if you have a genuine need for disability benefits, you shouldn’t run into many roadblocks. Having a legal team you trust to help you through the process will also make your application experience more efficient.
Ensure You Qualify
Before you begin your application, be sure you’ll qualify for Social Security disability benefits in Arizona.
With SSDI, this includes having worked a job—recently, and for a certain period of time—that paid taxes into Social Security. You’ll also need to meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of “disabled,” which includes being unable to perform work you did previously or adapt to new work, and/or having a disability that is expected to last at least one year or could be terminal. There are also a few special situations that may qualify you, such as being the caretaker for a disabled person.
With SSI, anyone can apply for benefits, but you qualify if you are 65 or older, blind or disabled. You may also qualify if you have a limited income, limited resources, and meet certain other requirements listed here.
Once you know you qualify, review the Adult Disability Checklist for a list of documents needed to apply for SSDI. Information you may need includes your marriage and parenting information, financial records, medical records, date and place of birth, and more. Keep in mind that if you are uncertain or reluctant about sharing this information, you are less likely to receive benefits.
At times, you may not need all of the documents listed for SSI. The Social Security office will inform you when certain substitutions are acceptable. These documents include proof of age, Social Security number, proof of income and resources, work history, and more. You can review the SSA website for more information on what documents may be required. Applying on behalf of a disabled child carries its own set of requirements.
Submit the Application
When you have all of your information gathered, you’re ready to submit the application. Now comes the hard part—waiting. You’ll be able to check the application status through your online account, and can expect to hear from the department by email and traditional mail. The federal Social Security office will evaluate your application first and then forward it to Arizona’s Disability Determination Services office for final review.
If your request is denied, that doesn’t mean you won’t ever receive disability benefits. You will be able to appeal the decision and be reconsidered by the department. Having a legal team you trust for this process is important. Our disability benefits lawyers have been through the appeals process before and can help ensure your application is an accurate reflection of your case.
Schedule Your Consultation With Cruz & Associates Today
If you’re ready to apply for a Social Security disability program, give the team at Cruz & Associates a call. We serve the Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale and Glendale communities with dedicated legal guidance and local knowledge of the legal system, and we can help you too.
Your first meeting with us is always free. Our team of attorneys looks forward to hearing about your unique situation, and how we can help. Call our office or fill out our online contact form to get started.