Social Security: What to Know
Upon retirement age, many individuals leaving the workforce will be entitled to a financial safety net known as Social Security. Initiated during the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration, the program aids retirees settling into their golden years. However, it is not always the golden goose some may be expecting. Despite affecting millions of Americans every year, there are several significant aspects of Social Security that you need to know in order for your benefits to actually benefit.
With Social Security playing such an important role in your life let Zicarelli and Martello provide you with some essential information regarding the process.
DO I QUALIFY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY?
Social Security is an earned benefit funded through payroll taxes taken out of the majority of employees’ wages throughout America. Many recipients qualify to receive social security payments once they are of retirement age because they have made their own individual contributions through social security taxes withheld from their paychecks. While the majority of recipients qualify under that guideline alone, the amount you are entitled to is subject to several determining factors.
A main determination of how much social security that you are entitled to depends on how much social security tax you paid into throughout your working career. Social security experts at Ziccarelli and Martello can help determine what rates best suit your financial needs, both in the present and looking ahead.
The age you finally determine to retire and seek your social security benefits will be reflected in the amount you receive monthly. Retiring at age 62 will provide income sooner but the amount will not be as substantial as a retiree who worked until the age of 70. Because everyone’s personal economic situation plays a significant deciding factor in when to retire, we recommend consulting with a professional to determine what age makes the most financial sense to your specific needs.
CAN I LIVE OFF SOCIAL SECURITY?
Social Security is designed to provide financial support for retirees but it is unwise to rely solely on Social Security benefits without first consulting with an advisor to discuss your specific needs. While your benefits may not be enough to support you on their own, when coupled with pension, 401K, or other investments social security can provide not only financial support but peace of mind as well.
SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY CLAIMS
Workers who have paid into the Social Security program and have become disabled before regular retiring age may be able to collect social security disability insurance benefits. Many people who suffer from the unfortunate burden of unexpected injuries that prevent them from providing for themselves depend on social security disability benefits. This doesn’t mean that the process is necessarily an easy one.
In fact, the majority of applicants are initially denied coverage. With the process being significantly more complex than a typical non-disability social security claim, it is not surprising to find that claimants who are represented by an attorney find a higher success rate than those unrepresented.
DENIAL AND APPEAL PROCESS
Despite the majority of Social Security claims being initially denied, the majority of appeals are often approved right away. The process is time sensitive, however. You will have to file your appeal within sixty days of the original date of your denial. It is important to discuss the appeals process with an advisor who can also help you avoid any errors and expedite your appeal.
The reasons behind any potential denials of benefits depends on the claimant’s individual situation. Typically, the most common reasons for denials are as follows:
- If you are still taking in income of a significant amount from other sources
- If your disability will not last longer than twelve months
- If there was a failure to comply with SSA’s request for information or medical records
- If the SSA cannot locate you
- If you willfully did not follow your prescribed doctor’s treatment. Exceptions to this rule include
- Inability to pay for treatment
- If the treatment is counter to the individual’s religious constraints
- If the prescribed treatment is ineffective
SOCIAL SECURITY OVERVIEW
Because Social Security plays such a fundamental role in nearly everyone’s future, it is always important to work with an experienced professional to avoid any potential complications that could put your financial stability in danger. The trusted law firm of Ziccarelli and Martello has over twenty-five years of success in representing Social Security claimants and guiding them through the appeals process.
Our experienced confidence is such that we accept no payment unless we win your social security disability case. Additionally, all initial legal consultations with us are 100% FREE. Call us at 216-696-0800 and let’s discuss, one-on-one, what’s best for your future.