Filing for Social Security disability benefits can be a long and frustrating experience. It is a significant waiting game in most claim situations even when the applicant is obviously disabled. The Social Security Administration does not issue any partial disability awards, so they are diligent when it comes to making a final determination. Most cases are settled based on overall health regarding multiple factors, and when no one medical issue is sufficient, the claim must be won through the appeals process that requires going before an administrative law judge who makes the final decision. This is best accomplished by retaining legal representation from SSDI lawyers who know how to craft a solid case for proving medical disability.
Qualifying for Benefits
The first step in the process is determining if an applicant is qualified for SSDI. SSDI is actually an insurance plan established by Social Security tax receipts during a working career. Individuals who have not accumulated 40 credits over a working career are not eligible, and those who have not earned 20 of those credits over the past 10 years are also denied automatically. This will be addressed in the initial denial letter. However, those who can qualify based on need may be eligible for a Supplemental Security Income award, also known as SSI. The process for proving a disability exists still applies, but SSI cases are typically handled at the state level and reevaluated each year.
The Initial Claim
While it is not necessary to retain an SSDI lawyer before filing a claim that will more than likely be denied, it can be an advantage to some degree. The application is lengthy, and everything that is stated on the original application becomes part of the official record that the Social Security Administration may try to use as a reason for denial. SSDI lawyers know how personal statements are used in claim denials, and they can often advise the best way to answer the questions. The Social Security Administration will also send an activity report as well that must be filled out by the applicant. These are direct statements to the SSA, and wording can be important. Additionally, there are time limits on responding, and most communication is done by mail. The SSA will use all of their allotted time to respond, so answering quickly can help reduce waiting time.
Preparing the Case
The next step for your SSDI lawyers will be assembling all medical data available for presentation following a first reconsideration. The SSA will typically deny a claim twice before the appeals hearing process starts. This gives attorneys ample time to assemble all medical evidence and help applicants with what to explain to the ALJ in an eventual hearing. It also gives the applicant an opportunity to seek medical evaluation for all issues that can be used in developing a comprehensive medical profile that can give the SSA ample information to approve the claim. Almost all awards are issued based on overall health and how medical problems prevent the applicant from maintaining employment.
Contact Our Disability Law Firm
It is important to continue fighting for your rights to disability income when you first apply for SSDI because there are a limited number of times an individual can apply before they reach retirement age, and the inability to work during the final years of a career can impact the amount of the award drastically. Having an experienced disability legal professional representing your case shows the government that you are serious about your claim and helps reinforce the fact that it is indeed valid. Call our office today and let us put our experience to work your you and your SSDI claim.