When a worker is no longer able to work because of a physical, mental or sensory disability, the first question may be how he or she is going to replace the lost wages. In that regard, a disability benefits attorney can be a useful guide.
For example, there may be both federal and state programs that can offer assistance. Knowledge of all available sources of assistance is crucial, as the average monthly disability payment from the Social Security Administration, at around $1146 in 2014, is most likely not enough to keep a disabled worker above the poverty line. The Social Security Administration has two programs: Social Security disability insurance and Supplemental Security Income. In addition, Medicare and Medicaid are two additional programs, and other programs may also offer assistance for insurance or prescription drugs.
When a worker is suffering from a disabling impairment, it may take every ounce of energy just to make treatment appointments and attend to rehabilitative therapy regimes. The last think that a disabled worker needs to worry about is the frequent disparity between a medical diagnosis and the evidence needed to legally prove one is disabled.
An attorney that focuses on SSDI and other disability benefits can provide referrals to health care providers that will understand the importance of documenting all treatments administered. In the event a worker decides to apply for SSDI benefits, that treatment history will most likely become part of the application.
Quite simply, a doctor’s diagnosis may not be enough evidence to convince disability examiners at the Social Security Administration that an individual’s condition prevents him or her from doing substantial, gainful work. Fortunately, an attorney can take on this advocacy role, working tirelessly to get a disabled worker who has paid into the system the benefits that he or she deserves.
Source: Social Security Administration, “Faces and Facts of Disability,” May 2014