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More than 11,000 individuals live with disabilities in Duluth, giving it the third-highest disabled population of any city in Minnesota, behind only Minneapolis and St. Paul. Unfortunately, individuals with disabilities are about 2.6 times more likely to be unemployed across Minnesota than other adults ages 18 to 64.
If you have acquired a disabling condition that prevents you from working, you can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. An experienced Duluth Social Security Disability lawyer from Nicolet Law Office can answer your questions about the application process.
Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers is a regional firm known throughout Duluth as a premier resource for those facing financial distress following disability. With 20 team members in nine locations throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota, we combine the resources and convenience of a large regional firm with the personalized service that you’d expect from a Duluth local.
We know how to handle complicated SSDI cases, and we know that each client is different and has unique needs. We know that if you’re injured or facing financial difficulty, you should only have to think about caring for yourself and your family. We take care of all the heavy lifting in seeking SSDI benefits, so you can focus on what matters: your life, and your loved ones.
The dedicated social security disability attorneys at Nicolet Law Firm boast decades of combined experience representing injured clients in Duluth. We’ve recovered over $34 million in compensation for our clients, and look forward to the chance to see how we can help you and your loved ones.
Some of our past clients include:
While no attorney can guarantee the results in any particular case, rest assured that the passionate Social Security Disability lawyers at Nicolet Law draw on our deep well of experience to pursue the best possible outcome for members of our Duluth community. For more examples of our past success, consider some of our past case results.
SSDI is a form of federal insurance that most U.S. workers pay for each quarter through automatic deductions in their paycheck.
If an individual has earned the right to collect SSDI through working and paying into the system, he or she is qualified for benefits that include:
To qualify to receive SSDI benefits on your own instead of on someone else’s account as a disabled child, widow, or disabled individual using his or her spouse’s credits, you must show that you have worked enough quarters to earn the benefits and you have a disabling condition. Here is a look at each of these factors.
Social Security awards a credit for each quarter an individual works. Each worker can earn up to four credits each year. Credits are based on your total earnings for the year and you must have earned more than a minimum level of income each quarter during the year to qualify for all of the credits.
The work credits you need to qualify for SSDI vary, depending on your age. As a general rule, however, you need 40 credits to qualify for SSDI benefits, with half of those credits being earned in the last 10 years. Younger workers who become disabled are required to have fewer work credits to qualify.
SSDI only pays benefits to individuals who have suffered a total disability.
Disability, in terms of SSDI eligibility, involves a medical condition that:
When reviewing your application, the Social Security Administration will ask:
Applying for SSDI benefits in Duluth involves:
If your application for SSDI benefits is approved, you will be notified by mail of that decision, as well as the amount of your monthly benefit and the date on which the decision becomes effective. You will begin receiving disability payments no earlier than after the sixth full month following the date your disability began. You may also be approved for back pay. You can generally expect your first payment within one to two months after you have been notified of the decision, and this time may be longer if you have also been approved for back pay.
The Social Security Administration provides a process by which individuals can appeal a determination made on their SSDI application. An appeal must be requested in writing within 60 days of receipt of the decision.
The four levels of appeals on SSDI decisions are:
Applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be a daunting and time-consuming process that lends itself to questions. Here are the answers to some of the questions our Duluth clients ask us most frequently about obtaining SSDI benefits.
Some individuals find tremendous value in the ability to work. Through SSDI, individuals enter a trial work period and retain their benefits. Individuals may perform a total of nine months of trial work periods within a five year period. To count toward your trial work period, you must earn at least $720 in a month. If you exceed that amount of time or income, you can engage in substantial gainful activity and may no longer collect SSDI benefits.
Many types of benefits, such as disability payments through the Veterans Administration can be received at the same time as SSDI benefits, without an impact on the payments received by either program. Government pensions and Social Security benefits can reduce the amount you are eligible to receive through SSDI, as can the provision of worker’s compensation benefits.
Your attorney can help you determine how your participation in other benefit programs will impact your eligibility to receive SSDI benefits, as well as how your SSDI benefits will affect the amount you can receive for other programs.
SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income and is provided to individuals who have never worked or who are disabled and cannot work for at least one year, living in a household where the income is less than the minimum level required to qualify for assistance. The difference between this assistance and the benefits received through SSDI is that the SSDI benefits require the individual to work to qualify and less consideration is made regarding net worth or most types of household income, while SSI is a welfare program where the bulk of the eligibility revolves around the income of the household.
Yes. Applicants have a choice of submitting their application online or scheduling an appointment to apply in person at the nearest Social Security Administration office. In some circumstances, if you cannot apply in person or online, you will be permitted to provide the information to begin the application over the phone. Talk to us about whether that’s a good idea in your case.
The time between when you apply for your benefits and when you receive a decision can vary widely depending on:
On average, applicants generally receive a decision on their benefits within three to four months after applying.
A disabled child who is 18 years old or older can receive Social Security benefits at the same time his or her parents begin receiving retirement or disability benefits, as long as the child was under the age of 22 when his or her disability began.
If you have other forms of income that place your earnings over a certain level, you may need to pay taxes on your SSDI benefits. However, most recipients do not have to pay taxes on their benefits because they cannot work and have little income that would put them over the IRS threshold for taxable income.
The experienced Social Security Disability lawyers at Nicolet Law Office are pleased to help Duluth SSDI applicants with:
The likelihood of an SSDI application denial is high. Millions of people apply to this program each year, and surveys indicate that around three-quarters of the applicants are denied at the initial review level. We can help to reduce the likelihood that SSDI wrongfully denies your claim, and we can improve the chances that your appeal succeeds. Call us today.
The Duluth personal injury lawyers at Nicolet Law Office strive to be more than just legal professionals in the communities we serve. As proud members of the Duluth community, we ensure that when an injured neighbor hires Nicolet Law, they aren’t treated as just another case file: They are family, and we work tirelessly to achieve the best outcome possible.
If you need assistance after a disabling injury or illness somewhere in Duluth, our passionate Duluth SSDI lawyers can help you seek the benefits you deserve. Let us help you make sense of the process of applying for SSDI benefits and understand the information you will need to prove your condition and work history. For a free case evaluation, contact us online or by calling (218) 729-0628.
306 West Superior Street, Suite 606
Duluth, MN 55802