When an injury, illness, or disability prevents you from working, obtaining the benefits to which you are rightfully entitled can be challenging. Whether pursuing Social Security Disability benefits or private long-term or short-term disability benefits, our lawyers at Copple, Rockey, & Schlecht P.C., L.L.O., have the experience and diligence to effectively guide you through this bureaucratic process.
With offices in Norfolk and Omaha, our disability law attorneys handle Social Security Disability and disability insurance claims for individuals and families throughout Nebraska. We understand how frustrating it can be for clients when they follow the rules, yet still face benefit denial. Unfortunately, many claims are initially denied. It is critical to act quickly to enlist the services of an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process. Call our firm at 402-371-4300 to get started.
Social Security Disability (SSD)
When suffering from an illness or disability that prevents you from working for a period of 12 months, or is expected to be terminal, you may be eligible to receive income benefits through Social Security Disability. In addition to demonstrating the extent of your medical condition, in order to be eligible for SSD benefits, you must also have worked a certain number of years prior to becoming disabled (and contributed to the Social Security system through regular payroll deductions). However, individuals who have not worked enough years prior to becoming disabled may still be eligible for monthly income benefits through Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Attorneys at Copple, Rockey, & Schlecht P.C., L.L.O., can help you ensure your claim is properly documented and guide you through the process — whether you are submitting your initial application or need assistance with an SSD appeal.
Private Disability Law: Short-Term and Long-Term Disability
In addition to being eligible for SSD benefits, if an illness or disability renders you from working, you may be eligible for private disability benefits either through an employment-based disability policy (an ERISA-based disability policy), or through a private disability policy you purchased. Obtaining short- or long-term disability benefits through either avenue can be an overwhelming process that is frequently more successful when guided by an experienced attorney.
Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge to effectively represent your interests when applying for short-term disability or long-term disability benefits in Nebraska. We understand the law, know how to analyze complex policies, and have the skill to effectively guide you through challenging application and appellate procedures.
How Long Does it Take to Find Out if I Qualify for Disability Benefits?
According to the Social Security Administration (as well as our own experience with our clients), it usually takes 3-5 months for the application to get approved or denied. During this time, the SSA is gathering medical records, information, and evidence related to your condition and work history.
Private or employer-sponsored disability insurance may or may not be processed faster. It will depend entirely on the situation and what the policy is. As experienced disability attorneys, we can help you file for the benefits you are owed.
How Long do I Have to be Employed Before I'm Eligible for Disability Benefits?
It’s true that SSDI is contingent upon how long and how recently you’ve worked. Most people must have worked 5 of the previous 10 years in order to qualify. The requirement is lower for young people.
The payments are based on how many work credits you’ve accumulated, which are based on your annual salary or wages (including self-employment income). No more than 4 credits can be earned by an individual in a year. The amount of wages required for a single credit changes each year.
How many credits you need in order to qualify for SSDI depends on your age and other factors. Consult our attorneys to find out if you are eligible.
Even if you think your work history disqualifies you, there may be other options. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides benefits for people with financial need, and it is possible you may qualify for SSI if you don’t qualify for SSDI.
How Soon After Getting Approved for Benefits Will I Receive Compensation?
It can take some time to actually get your first payment. There is a 5-month waiting period from the date the SSA determines your disability began, and the release of the 1st payment. Your application will be pending during this period, and will probably be approved at some point before the 5-month period is up. One good thing is that back payments will be applied to the waiting period.
SSDI benefits are paid the month following when they are effective. So your July benefits will be paid to you in August, for example.
In general, it could take some time to start receiving benefits. You should file as promptly as possible, to get the ball rolling. Even after the initial 5-month waiting period, it could take 30-90 days to see those payments begin, or possibly longer.
What do I do if My Disability Claim is Denied?
Initial denials are not uncommon, and not necessarily the last word. You can and should appeal the decision. The SSA allows 60 days from the date of the decision to file an appeal, so time is of the essence. An appeal request must be made in writing in those 60 days. Our attorneys will manage all aspects of the appeal for you so that you can rest assured that everything is completed accurately and correctly.
How Can Copple Rockey & Schlecht Help Me Navigate Through My Disability Claim?
Our experienced disability attorneys can help with all aspects of filing your disability claim, as well as appealing it if necessary. The filing process involves lengthy questions and requests for documentation of your medical history, disability diagnosis, and work history. Getting all portions completed accurately is essential to the progress of your claim. We ensure all the details are addressed and that you set yourself up for success to the fullest extent possible.
Our attorneys are focused on the needs of each client. Whether you need assistance with SSD benefits or private disability insurance claims, we are dedicated to helping you through the process. Call 402-371-4300 or contact Copple, Rockey, & Schlecht P.C., L.L.O., through the form on this page to arrange a consultation. Our firm serves clients throughout Nebraska, including Norfolk, Omaha, Lincoln, and other areas.