Seeking Legal Counsel For Bipolar Disability Benefits
If youre interested in seeking Social Security Disability for bipolar disorder, it can be challenging to get your application approved. In fact, about two-thirds of all SSDI applications are denied the first time around. About 85% are denied when submitted for reconsideration. Put your interests and future first with the team at Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC. Weve served clients inYork,Lancaster,Hanover,Harrisburg,Carlisle, and throughout Pennsylvania for nearly 100 years. Our unparalleled experience andproven results make our firm a clear choice for your bipolar disorder disability claim.
Lets talk about the ways we can help you. Call today for your free, confidential consultation.
Calculating Ssdi: Covered Earnings
If you are eligible for SSDI benefits, the amount you receive each month will be based on your average lifetime earnings before your disability began. This is the only factor that determines your benefit amount, although it may be reduced if you’re receiving disability payments from other sources . In other words, your SSDI benefit amount is not based on how severe your disability is, and unlike SSI, you cannot be denied SSDI because you have too much unearned income or too many resources .
Your past earnings must be covered under the Social Security program in order to count towards the amount of SSDI benefits you will receive. “Covered earnings” are wages you have received from jobs that have paid into Social Security. If you have received a paycheck that had money withheld for “Social Security taxes” or “FICA,” the wages you made at that job are covered earnings and will count toward calculating your benefit amount. Most wages are covered earnings.
Your SSDI payment will be based on your average covered earnings over a period of years, known as your average indexed monthly earnings . A formula is then applied to your AIME to calculate your primary insurance amount the basic figure the SSA uses in setting your actual benefit amount.
For example, someone in their fifties who made $100,000 for the past few years might expect a disability payment of $2,500 per month. Someone in their fifties who made $60,000 per year might expect a disability payment of $2,000 per month.
How To Qualify For Ssdi In Texas
SSDI is a federal program, though each state manages its applications through a state agency. In Texas, SSDI benefits are managed through the Disability Determination Services , a part of the Texas Department of Health and Human Services.
To qualify for SSDI benefits in Texas, a person must meet all of the following eligibility guidelines:
- Disability – A qualifying person needs to meet the SSA definition of having a disability. In most cases, as detailed in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 20, Chapter III, §404.1505. Basic definition of disability. It states, “The law defines disability as the inability to do any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death, or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”
- Paying In – Individuals must pay into the Social Security system through their taxes. For employed individuals, this is part of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax. Employees pay half of the tax, while the employer pays the other half. Self-employed individuals pay both portions of the FICA tax.
- Work Credits – An individual must earn work credits to qualify for Texas disability benefits. The number of credits you earn depends on how much income you earn, and you can get up to four credits per year. Most individuals need at least 40 credits to qualify for SSDI benefits.
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Overview Of Texas Medicaid Waiver Programs:
CBA – Community Based Alternatives
- For children with serious emotional disturbances, available in Bexar, Tarrant and Travis Counties
Notes: To find your Local Authority office, go to
Related Condition is a disability, other than an intellectual disability, that originated before age 22 that affects the ability to function in daily life. The individual cannot be enrolled in another Medicaid Waiver Program. The individual’s income and resources cannot exceed specified limits.
Get Help Applying For Ssdi
- Find an advocacy workshop in your area. See our Services, Groups, and Events page for ideas.
- Connect with other parents who have young adults collecting disability benefits.
- Hire a lawyer who specializes in disability benefits. This is useful in determining if more than 1 program meets your needs. Lawyers working for nonprofit organizations can help low-income families with estate planning and working with Social Security benefits at a lower cost than another lawyer would charge.
- Disability.govs Guides to Disability Benefits offers facts and tips on disability benefits and application help, and has the answers to many questions you or your child might have.
- Ask your childs caseworker for help.
- Make an appointment with an agent at your local Social Security Administration office to talk through your child benefits and application. You can use the Social Security Office Locator to find your local Social Security Administration office.
Once your child has applied, they should expect to get a letter in the mail to let them know if they were approved.
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Get The Maximum Benefits You Deserve
Until you win your disability claim, its impossible to say exactly how much money youll get, but we can show you how to get a pretty close estimate.
Getting benefits is not easy, which is why most people hire an attorney to help them. Most people get denied on their first attempt and give up.
If that happens to you, you should appeal because thats when many people do finally get their benefits. Work with an attorney who knows Social Securitys complicated process and take some of the burden off yourself as you apply or appeal.
Makris Law Firm has over 40 years of experience helping Texans when they need it the most. We fight to get the maximum possible benefits for you.
Health problems stopped you from working. Youre struggling with a loss of income. Hiring a lawyer for your Social Security Disability claim sounds expensive.
But its not.
- You pay no attorneys fee up front.
- You dont pay any fee unless you win.
- You never pay a fee out of your pocket. When you win benefits, the money for your attorney comes from back benefits that Social Security awards you.
- Social Security sets a cap limiting how much your attorney can collect from those back benefits.
Social Security Disability attorneys fees are governed by federal regulations. So just about every disability lawyer works the same way.
How A Lawyer With Our Firm Can Help You Apply For Disability Benefits
An attorney from our firm can offer assistance as you prepare an application for Social Security disability benefits. We can help you determine whether you have enough work credits for SSDI or should apply for SSI benefits. The law does not require you to work with a lawyer on the application and evaluation process for disability benefits, but having someone guide you can make the process go smoother.
Every year, thousands of qualifying individuals are denied Social Security Disability benefits because of errors they made on their applications. Many people have to appeal a denial of benefits to get the assistance they need. Our team can help you avoid this costly mistake or represent you during your appeal if you have already received a denial.
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Medication Compliance & Bipolar Disorder
The Social Security Administration requires that all applicants are medication compliant. This means that the applicant is using or has attempted to use all treatments offer by his or her treating doctor. If an applicant is not using prescribed medications, the SSA will deny the case because they assume the medication could potentially control and improve their conditions symptoms. Although there is an exception, if an applicant attempts to use the medication but stopped taking them because of bad side effects, he or she will be considered medication compliant since they attempted to treat their condition.
How Ssdi Benefits Are Calculated
If you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, your payment will be based on your average earnings before you became disabled. As a form of insurance, payments are higher for those who paid more taxes on their wages before becoming disabled. Your household income or the severity of your disability does not affect your benefit amount.
Your monthly SSDI benefit is based on your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings and Primary Insurance Amount .
Your AIME is calculated using up to 35 of your working years. The Social Security Administration adds together the years with the highest indexed earnings and divides them by the total number of months for those years. Then, the average is rounded down to reach your AIME.
Your PIA is the base amount of your benefits. It is calculated using the total of three fixed percentages of your AIME and bend points that change each year to reflect the national average wage index. You receive 90% of the earnings up to the first bend point, 32% of the earnings up to the second bend point, and 15% of earnings that exceed the third bend point.
To encourage recipients to return to work if they feel they are able to do so, the SSA has implemented a Trial Work Period of a total of nine months, not necessarily consecutive, over a 60-month period. During these nine months, you can earn an unlimited amount without your benefits being affected.
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The Basics About Disability Benefits
The SSDI program pays benefits to you and certain if you are insured. This means that you worked long enough and recently enough – and paid Social Security taxes on your earnings. The program pays benefits to adults and children with disabilities who have limited income and resources.
While these two programs are different, the medical requirements are the same. If you meet the non-medical requirements, monthly benefits are paid if you have a medical condition expected to last at least one year or result in death.
What Are My Rights Under The Ada/social Security
The ADA prevents people who are disabled from being discriminated against at work. Your company cant cancel a job offer or fire you because you have bipolar disorder.
You must be able to do the basic tasks your job requires, but you can ask for accommodations. Accommodations are changes to your schedule or responsibilities that make your job easier to do.
Examples of accommodations for people with bipolar disorder are:
- a flexible schedule
- job coaching
- a support animal
Under the ADA, you also have a right to privacy. You dont have to tell your employer that you have bipolar disorder unless you want to share that information.
You can get Social Security disability benefits if your bipolar disorder is severe enough to prevent you from working or if it limits your ability to do your job.
Whether you can work depends on how severe your bipolar disorder is, and how much your symptoms affect your daily life.
Symptoms like mood swings, irritability, and trouble concentrating can make it harder to do many jobs.
In general, people with bipolar disorder have a harder time working than those who dont. Between never go back to work full time after their symptoms start.
It may be harder for you to work if you have:
- severe bipolar disorder
- psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions
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What Counts As Resources
To get SSI, your resources cannot be worth more than $2000 if single or $3000 for a couple. But you dont need to count everything you own.
You do not need to count:
- The home that you live in and the land that it is on, regardless of size and value
- Household goods and personal effects
- Your car if used for transportation for you or a member of your household
- Life insurance non-term policy with a face value of $1500 or less
- Burial plots for you and your immediate family
- Burial funds up to $1500 each for you and your spouse, less any excluded whole life insurance
Disability Appeals In Texas
If your initial claim is denied, the next step in Texas is to seek a “reconsideration” from DDS. If your request for reconsideration is denied, then the next step is to ask for a hearing with an administrative law judge . ALJ hearings are administered through Social Security’s Office of Hearing Operations , formerly known as the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review . The main OHO office in Texas is located at Suite 460, 1301 Young Street, Dallas, Texas 75202-5433. Its telephone number is 767-9401.
OHO also operates eight hearing offices that serve Texans. Hearing offices are located in Fort Worth, Harlingen, and San Antonio, plus Dallas and Houston each have two hearing offices. In addition, the hearing office in Oklahoma City serves some Texans close to their borders. To find the office that serves your location, check Social Security’s hearing office locator.
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Contact Our Attorneys For Help With Your Ssdi Claim Today
When your bipolar disorder prevents you from working, SSDI benefits may be the only thing that helps you keep a roof over your head and provide for your family. Dont risk having your application rejected. We can help you identify the weak points in your application, get the medical records to fix them, and maximize your chances of getting benefits.
Disability Evaluation In Texas
Once Social Security determines that a claimant in Texas meets basic eligibility criteria for either SSI or SSDI, the agency sends the claimant’s file to Texas’s Disability Determination Services agency. Texas’s DDS is a part of the Department of Health and Human Services. Claims examiners who work at DDS review medical information in the claimant’s file and decide whether the claimant has a condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability.
DDS has just one office, in Austin. Its mailing address is: Division of Disability Determination Services, P.O. Box 149198, Austin, TX 78714-9198, and its telephone number is 252-7009.
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The Disability Application Process
Whether you apply online, by phone, or in person, the disability benefits application process follows these general steps:
- You gather the information and documents you need to apply. We recommend you print and review the . It will help you gather the information you need to complete the application.
- You complete and submit your application.
- We review your application to make sure you meet some for disability benefits.
- We check whether you worked enough years to qualify.
- We evaluate any current work activities.
- We process your application and forward your case to the Disability Determination Services office in your state.
- This State agency makes the disability determination decision.
To learn more about who decides if you are disabled, read our publication .
Once You’ve Applied
Once we receive your application, well review it and contact you if we have questions. We might request additional documents from you before we can proceed
Look For Our Response
Youll receive a letter in the mail with our decision. If you included information about other family members when you applied, well let you know if they may be able to receive benefits on your record.
Check The Status
You can check the status of your application online using your personal mySocial Security account. If you are unable to check your status online, you can call us 1-800-772-1213 from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Appeal A Decision
What Are My Income Limits On Social Security
Since its inception, Social Security has benefitted hundreds of millions of Americans in need. A large portion of these benefits go to those with severe disabilities who are unable to earn sufficient wages.
To be sure Social Security goes to those who need it most, income plays a large role in deciding who receives Social Security disability insurance and Supple-mental Security Income .
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If I Qualify For Ssi Can I Get Other Benefits
Yes. If you qualify for SSI you also may be eligible for help from Texas or from your county. You could also get:
- Medicaid, which helps pay doctor and hospital bills.
- Food Stamps to help pay for your groceries.
- For Medicare recipients, assistance with premiums, copayments and deductibles for hospital, doctor, and prescription drugs through Medicare Savings Programs and Low Income Subsidy.
For information about Health and Human Services in your community, call 2-1-1. Or apply for benefits online at www.YourTexasBenefits.com.
Is Your Condition Severe
Your condition must significantly limit your ability to do basic work-related activities, such as lifting, standing, walking, sitting, or remembering for at least 12 months. If it does not, we will find that you are not disabled.
If your condition does interfere with basic work-related activities, we go to Step 3.
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File For Disability In Texas
If you are suffering from a disabling condition and wish to apply for Social Security Disability in Texas, there are a couple ways to file a claim for benefits with the Social Security Administration . You can apply on the internet, over the phone, or in-person.
- You can apply online on the SSA’s website at ssa.gov.
- You can apply over the phone by calling the SSA’s customer service at 1-800-772-1213
- You can apply in-person at the closest Social Security field office. Find your office in Texas below.