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What Can I Do if I Become Disabled?

A disability that prevents you from working can put a significant financial strain on your family. You are not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that there are approximately 61 million people nationwide who are living with some form of disability. 

This raises an important question: What can I do if I become disabled? You may be entitled to obtain disability benefits to support yourself and your family. In this article, our Phoenix disability lawyer provides a comprehensive overview of your options if you become disabled in Arizona.  

Understanding Your Options for Disability Benefits

Disability benefits are financial payments made to people who are unable to work due to a disability. They are intended to help cover the costs of living and provide financial support to individuals who are unable to work because of a significant physical/mental impairment. Disability benefits are important because they provide financial assistance to people who are unable to work and may be struggling to make ends meet. In addition, disability benefits can help cover the costs of medical treatment and other expenses related to a disability. They can also provide financial security and peace of mind to individuals and their families. Here is an overview of your main options for disability benefits: 

  • Private Disability Benefits (Long-Term Disability, ERISA, etc.): Private disability benefits are typically provided through a disability insurance policy that an individual has purchased privately or through their employer. Private disability benefits can be either short-term or long-term, depending on the policy. Most people who have private disability benefits obtained their policy through their employer. All employer-sponsored disability plans in Arizona are regulated by a federal law called the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Whether you have an ERISA policy or a private policy purchased on the individual market, you have the right to file a claim to seek benefits. If you have questions about your rights, contact a Phoenix long-term disability lawyer for help. 
  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Claim: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program that provides financial assistance to individuals who are unable to work due to a disability. To be eligible for SSDI, an individual must have worked and paid into the Social Security system for a certain number of years, based on their age. If you have worked a sufficient number of years and you have a qualifying disability, you can apply for SSDI benefits. For more information, contact a Phoenix Social Security disability attorney today. 
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Claim: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that provides financial assistance to individuals who are disabled, blind, or over the age of 65 with limited income and resources. While still administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), SSI has different financial/legal eligibility standards than SSDI. You do not need a work history to qualify for SSI benefits. However, you must have limited income and financial resources. If you are preparing to file a claim, contact our Phoenix Supplemental Security Income attorney for help. 
  • Veterans’ Disability Claim: Are you a military veteran with a service-connected disability? If so, you may have another option for benefits available through your military service. Veterans’ disability benefits are financial payments made to veterans who cannot work due to a service-related disability. These benefits are provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and are intended to help cover the costs of living and provide financial support to veterans who are unable to work due to a disability that was caused or made worse by their military service. To be eligible for veterans’ disability benefits, a veteran must have a service-related disability that is rated by the VA as at least 10% disabling. The VA uses a rating system to determine the severity of a veteran’s disability and assigns a percentage rating based on the impact the disability has on the veteran’s ability to work. Contact our Phoenix veterans’ disability lawyer for guidance and support. 

Medical Evidence is Key to Any Disability Claim

Medical evidence is a crucial component of any disability claim. Indeed, the importance of comprehensive and persuasive medical documentation cannot be overstated. Whether you are bringing a private disability claim through an ERISA policy or an SSDI/SSI claim before the Social Security Administration (SSA), it is essential that you present sufficient medical evidence.  

Relevant medical evidence comes in many different forms. Some notable examples of medical records that could be material to a disability claim include doctor’s notes, test results, and other documentation from healthcare professionals. Without proper medical documentation to establish the existence/severity of the disability, the claim may be denied by the insurer or SSA. 

An Attorney Can Help You Understand Your Options and Navigate the Claims Process

Disability claims are complicated. If you or your family member is no longer able to work on a full-time basis, it is normal to feel frustrated, stressed out, and all-around overwhelmed by the complexity of the situation. Our founder and lead attorney, Paul J. Dombeck, has the skills and proven experience to help you navigate the full range of disability claims in Arizona. Whether you are filing for long-term disability benefits or Social Security disability benefits, we are here to help you secure the maximum financial support. When you contact our Phoenix office, you will have an opportunity to work with a Phoenix disability claims attorney who can: 

  • Hear your story, answer your questions, and explain the next steps in the process; 
  • Gather and prepare all of the medical and financial records you need; 
  • Handle the disability claims paperwork and correspondence; and
  • If necessary, represent you on appeal to help you secure your disability benefits. 

Contact Our Phoenix, AZ, Disability Lawyer Today

At The Law Office of Paul J. Dombeck, PLLC, our Phoenix disability attorney is a skilled, experienced, and results-focused advocate for people and families that need help. We are on the side of people who are going through a challenging time—not the big insurance company. Contact us today for a free, fully private appointment with a lawyer. With an office in Phoenix, we provide disability representation in Maricopa County and throughout the surrounding area in Arizona. 

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