The U.S. Social Security Act provided monthly income – as either an only source or supplemental source of income – for more than 61 million people in 2016.
The social security system is extremely complex and difficult for most people to navigate without help. People can be denied social security benefits for many reasons. If denied, a person who should consult with a Fort Lauderdale injury attorney. A Fort Lauderdale social security lawyer could be able to help your claim.
How Fort Lauderdale Social Security Works
Throughout a worker’s career, a portion of their earnings goes into the Federal Income Compensation Act (FICA.) The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME) to determine the amount of monthly social security income.
The Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) is a secondary formula that further determines the number of monthly payments based on AIME.
If a worker retires at age 66, they receive full benefits, while earlier retirement reduces monthly benefits. The earliest a person can receive social security payments is age 62.
How to Qualify for Benefits
To receive social security payments a person must pay into FICA for a minimum of 10 years. In the event of a social security beneficiary’s death, the person’s spouse may claim that person’s benefits. If the spouse also qualified and is receiving benefits, they can only claim the higher of the two accounts.
Unmarried children aged 17 and younger, or 19 if the child is a full-time student, may also receive the deceased beneficiary’s benefits. There are basic qualifications and circumstances that can modify these rules.
Social Security in Fort Lauderdale
The slightest error in social security paperwork can cause issues. And rules regarding rightful beneficiaries cause problems in eligibility and monthly payments. The SSA can deny or modify benefits. Sometimes people other than the social security beneficiary – such as a spouse, former spouse, or a representative of SSA – become involved in a challenge.
Computer or human error can cause mistakes in monthly payments. The beneficiary also can create a problem by failing to report information, incorrectly reporting it, or reporting it late.
Fort Lauderdale Appeal Processes
Social security beneficiaries have the right to appeal SSA decisions. Administrative law provides a sequence of four appellant processes. Upon learning of an issue, the beneficiary or applicant for benefits can petition the SSA to reconsider its decision by filing the proper paperwork supporting the case.
If SSA chooses not to reconsider, the appellant may take the case to administrative court for a hearing before a judge. At the hearing, the appellant presents the case supported by documentary and other evidence along with oral arguments.
The third appellant stage is to petition administrative law’s appeal council asking it to review the administrative law judge’s ruling. The appeal council can decide to take the case or not. The final stage is the Federal District Court of Appeals which hears cases from federal agencies.
Seek Legal Help from a Fort Lauderdale Social Security Attorney
A Fort Lauderdale social security lawyer can offer a free consultation and could review the facts of your case and determine whether it is worth pursuing. Call today for a consultation.