Q. I’m 59 and have been on Social Security disability for five years. My caregiver’s husband was disabled in an auto accident. Being a man who did not want handouts he thought he could go back to work and make a living. After years of struggle he finally tried for his disability and has run into roadblock after roadblock. Can you give me some information to get him on the right track? Disability lawyers don’t want to take his case.
A. You do not specify the kind of roadblocks your caregiver’s husband has encountered in qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance. However, in addition to the need to meet Social Security disability criteria, a disabled worker must have sufficient recent Social Security work credits to receive benefits. Basically, he needs to have worked for at least 5 of the last 10 years in order to be insured for disability benefits.
But assuming he has worked enough to be insured for disability, the most important thing is for him to continue to pursue his application. If he’s already received a denial on his application, he needs to appeal. If he has an appointment to appear before one of SSA’s administrative law judges, he should have a lawyer present his case.
Sometimes it can be difficult to find an attorney, but there are many law firms now who specialize in helping people get Social Security disability benefits. If he hasn’t found one, he should call the local Social Security office. They can help your caregiver’s husband find legal representation if he has been unsuccessful doing so himself.