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Trusted Legal Guidance Through The Social Security Disability Benefits Process

Many of us look forward to retirement at age 65, but a sizable percentage of the working population must stop working sooner than that due to injuries that prevent them from performing their job duties. For some, it’s a permanent end to work. Others are able to return work, if not in their previous occupation, at least to another field of employment.

At Christensen Law Office, PC, we are here to help the Sioux Falls community and the rest of the state through their Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) needs. Our extensive experience can help minimize the time and effort it takes to resolve these issues.

How SSDI Is Determined

Whether you apply for benefits online, in person, or by phone, the state will still need to determine your eligibility. In South Dakota, disability determination follows federal SSA guidelines and commonly results in a 45% denial rate. Applicants must prove with medical evidence that their condition severely limits workability. The SSA checks if the condition is listed among recognized impairments and meets severity criteria. If unlisted, they assess the applicant’s capacity to perform past work or adapt to new work.

Disability is granted if one cannot engage in substantial gainful activity due to their condition, expected to last at least one year or result in death. The process is intricate, and seeking legal counsel is advisable for navigating it.

Maximizing Your Chances Of Earning SSDI

If you are unable to work due to a physical or mental condition that has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months, you may be able to receive SSDI. Unfortunately, more than 70% of initial claims for Social Security Disability benefits are denied. Many are legitimate claims, but they are denied because the applicant failed to provide proper medical records or other supporting materials.

If your initial application for Social Security Disability benefits has been denied, you have options. The good news is that more than half of the Social Security Disability applicants who follow up a denied claim with a request for a hearing are eventually awarded benefits. At Christensen Law Office, PC, we have more than 25 years of experience helping injured workers obtain the Social Security Disability benefits they deserve.

Who Can Receive SSDI?

To qualify for SSDI, a person must have worked for a certain amount of time in jobs that were covered by Social Security. SSDI is funded through payroll taxes, thus, qualified applicants must have contributed to a federal disability benefit program through FICA withholdings or self-employment taxes. Disabled individuals who do not qualify for SSDI may be able to recover other benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Applicants must also have a serious medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability. This can be the result of an accident or a chronic illness or caused by something else. It must significantly limit your ability to perform basic activities that are necessary to work, such as walking, standing, sitting or retaining information. The list of impairments that qualify for SSDI includes:

  • Disorders of the musculoskeletal system
  • Disorders of the eye or brain that cause loss of vision
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Cardiovascular impairment
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Skin disorders
  • Neurological disorders
  • Immune system disorders
  • Cancer

If your application ends in a denial, we can help you through the appeals process. To reduce the chances of a denial, talk to our lawyers as soon as possible in your SSDI process.

Why It Makes Sense To Hire A Social Security Disability Lawyer

The SSDI application process is complicated and time-consuming. If your initial application has been denied, you may feel uncertain about taking the next step. An experienced Social Security Disability lawyer like Renee or Michael Christensen understands how to present a case to improve the chance that your claim will be approved. They understand the highly specialized language that is used and can advocate on your behalf.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss your SSDI application and assist in winning approval. Call 605-206-5872 or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation. The initial meeting is free, and we only collect an attorney fee if we help you obtain benefits.