Social Security Disability benefits are available to those people unable to work due to a severe medical or psychological condition or a combination of conditions.
A disabled worker can apply for benefits at their local Social Security Office or online at www.SSA.gov. Appointments can be made by calling the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. Appointments are suggested as the waits can be quite long at the local offices. The local offices will assist the claimant in requesting medical records and other information needed for the claim to be processed at the early stages.
A Social Security Disability Claim has three distinct stages. There is the Initial Application, the Reconsideration and the Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. The majority of people are denied benefits at the Initial Application and Reconsideration stages of the Disability appeal process. The claims are decided at these levels by case workers in Raleigh with an organization called Disability Determination Services.
The deadline for appealing a denied Disability claim is 60 days so it is imperative that you read all mail from the Social Security Administration carefully and file the necessary appeals documents timely.
It is often helpful to have an attorney assist you with the claim after the initial denial. We make every effort to gather and present information helpful to your case to the Social Security Administration. Some cases can be approved at the Reconsideration level.
If you are denied at the second stage of the process you must appeal within 60 days and request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. It can take well over a year to get to a hearing with the backlog of cases but the severely disabled can ask that their cases be heard “on the record” or based on the information submitted in the file. This review will usually happen more quickly and can result in an approval earlier and benefits starting earlier. If denied, you will not lose your right to a hearing before the Judge.
Call for a free consultation if you feel you need help with your Social Security Benefits Disability Claim. Our fee is contingent on winning the case so we are paid 25% of the back benefits to which you may be entitled.