If you are applying for Social Security Disability benefits, you are clearly facing major life changes and challenges. Your medical condition, preventing you from working and supporting yourself and your household, is more than enough to deal with. Completing and submitting your Social Security disability application is a high-stakes and complicated endeavor, increasing your stress level substantially.
Fortunately, Pilzer Klein is well-equipped and available to help you prepare a thorough, credible application. A Seneca, SC Social Security disability applications lawyer will manage your case with sensitivity and skill, increasing the probability of approval.
Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits
You can fill out the application for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits online, by appearing at your local Social Security office in person and working with an agent, or by calling Social Security and working with an agent over the phone. The online option allows you to avoid lines and wait times and also makes it easier to collaborate with a Seneca, SC Social Security disability applications attorney.
The Pilzer Klein Law Firm, unlike many others, focuses only on SSD cases. This singular focus, along with years of experience, has produced favorable outcomes for many Pilzer Klein clients. However you choose to fill out your application, we are here to help.
Required Application Information
With your application, you will need to include extensive additional information about your condition and employment history. Gathering this evidence can be overwhelming as you will have to contact all of your doctors, treatment facilities, employers, and caregivers. A Social Security disability applications lawyer in Seneca will shoulder this burden, saving you time and relieving your stress.
The required information is specific and comprehensive:
- Contact information for medical personnel, labs, hospitals or other medical facilities that have provided treating or testing for your disabling condition.
- Dates of all appointments, consultations, treatments, and testing
- Dosage and names of all your medications
- Contact information for caseworkers, if applicable
- Contact information for recent employers
- A thorough description of your work history, including the tasks you performed
- Tax information. Specifically, your most recent W-2 or federal tax return for those self-employed
The SSA has high standards for approval. A substantial work history adds credibility to your application, showing your history as a dedicated, hard worker.
Evidence from Non-Medical Sources
Including statements from family or friends, caregivers, previous employers, or other trusted sources who have witnessed the effects of your disability can also help your application. Your Social Security disability applications attorney in Seneca, SC, will provide direction as you make requests for these testimonies, ensuring witnesses offer appropriate information.
The Interview Requirement
Once you apply, an SSA representative will reach out to schedule an interview. You may need to supply more documentation prior to or during the interview. The interviewer will ask you about your employment, medical conditions, assets, and other sources of income, along with personal information such as your marital history and the ages and medical conditions of your dependent children.
Your attorney will help prepare you for the interview.
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How Long the Application Process Takes
Apply as soon as you become disabled. You can submit your application as soon as you have collected all required information, a process that will move along more efficiently when managed by a Seneca, SC Social Security disability applications attorney.
If you are approved, you will not receive benefits until you have been disabled for five full months. This five-month waiting period begins the first full month from the date the SSA determines your disability began. You will receive benefits immediately, however, if your conditions are included in the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances.
The Social Security Administration estimates a timeline of three to five months for reviewers to render a decision. However, it can often take much longer to gather all the relevant documents, such as medical records and other evidence. This is where a lawyer can step in and help expedite the process for you.
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Why Applications Are Denied
The SSA’s rigorous screenings and specific qualifications often lead to application denials. Some of the more common reasons for denials include:
- Inadequate medical evidence
- Errors in your application: You must ensure all information is accurate and holds up under scrutiny
- Income: You are still working, though in a reduced capacity, and earning “too much” according to the SSA. SSD is intended to support those whose disabilities prevent them from earning a sustainable income.
- You did not follow your doctor’s orders: The SSA wants to see that you have exhausted all treatment options and taken every available measure to improve your condition
- You did not follow the SSA’s instructions: You must provide all required documentation, attend the interview, and undergo a medical examination should the SSA order one
- Prior denials: If your application is denied, it is better to appeal the decision than begin a new application. When reviewers see you have submitted an application and been denied before, they are more likely to deny the subsequent application.
When a Seneca, SC Social Security disability applications lawyer oversees your case, your application will be complete and error-free, and more likely to bring a favorable decision.
Appealing a Decision
You will receive a letter informing you of the SSA’s decision to approve or deny your application. If you are denied, the letter will explain your options for appeal. An experienced Seneca, SC, Social Security disability applications attorney will determine whether you should ask for:
- Reconsideration of your application
- A hearing with an administrative law judge
- A review by the Appeals Council
- A Federal Court review
Consult with an attorney immediately after receiving your notice of denial, as you have only 60 days to request an appeal.
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Social Security Disability Is All We Do
Pilzer Klein is a firm dedicated to helping residents of Seneca, SC, and the surrounding areas get the SSD benefits they need. We know the SSA’s system inside and out. After over 35 years of SSD work focused on upstate South Carolina, we are familiar with many healthcare providers and agents in local Social Security offices.
You can trust your Social Security disability applications attorney from Pilzer Klein to stick with you in the toughest of circumstances and work diligently toward approval. We look forward to hearing from you.