Social Security Disability provides essential financial support to those unable to work because of a disabling illness, injury, or condition. Completing the application required to obtain the benefits, however, can be a complex process. Social Security Disability is funded by the federal government’s Social Security Administration.
Dealing with government offices is frustrating for anyone, but for those who are disabled, in pain, and unable to work, the frustration can be overwhelming. Fortunately, you can avoid this frustration by securing legal representation from an expert Social Security Disability lawyer from Pilzer and Klein. Your lawyer will manage your case from start to finish.
Pilzer Law assists people with their initial Social Security Disability applications. It’s important to hire an attorney to help with an initial application because we can help you avoid mistakes that can cause serious delays in the approval process.
What Are the Basic Eligibility Requirements?
Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are for people experiencing a physical or mental condition that has lasted or is expected to last at least one year or that will cause death. The condition must be severe enough to prevent those who have it from working and earning a sustainable living. To collect disability benefits, the applicant must have worked and paid into the Social Security Administration (SSA) and earned enough work credits to qualify.
There are exceptions to the work credit requirement: children under age 21, or those whose disability starts before they turn 22. Disabled spouses of deceased workers who paid into SSA may be eligible for the worker’s benefits as well.
An SSD lawyer can review your situation and help determine your eligibility.
For a free legal consultation, call 864-235-0234
What Documentation Will I Need to Provide with My Application?
The SSA requires extensive documentation providing personal, medical, and work information. Before filling out your application, it is a good idea to gather this documentation:
- Birth Certificate
- Citizenship documents if born outside the United States
- Marriage and divorce (if applicable) certificate or decree and spouse’s Social Security Number
- Names and dates of births of children
- Service information for participation in US military
- Employment history, including contact information for employers, covering your current situation and previous two years of work, and the date your disability began affecting your ability to work
- Contact information for doctors and hospitals or other facilities where you have been treated
- Contact information for a person who can support you through your claim, such as an SSD lawyer
You will need to provide comprehensive medical evidence for the SSA to approve your claim. Be prepared to furnish the office with specific information about your medications and dosage, medical tests and results, as well as past, current, and continuing treatment efforts.
How Do I Complete the Application?
There are several options for filling out your SSD application. Whichever method you choose, before starting your application, review the SSA’s Adult Disability Checklist.
To apply, you can call your local Social Security office during their hours of operation. You can also call to make an appointment and fill out your application in person at your local office. Finally, you can print the application and either mail or deliver it to your Social Security office.
If you have Internet access, the most convenient method is completing your application online. You can save your answers as you progress, so you do not have to complete the entire application in one sitting. The SSA will issue you a “re-entry number” to access and continue your application at a later time.
What Happens After I Submit the Application?
After you submit your application, you will be required to complete a medical release form, allowing the SSA to follow up with your doctors or other medical personnel. Like the application, you can submit this form online. You can also print the form and then mail or deliver it to your Social Security office.
To check the status of your application during the review process, you can:
- Call the SSA for an update. You may experience a long wait time if operators are busy
- Create a “my Social Security” account and check the status online with no wait time
An analyst from the NYS Division of Disability Determinations will review your case to determine whether your condition fits the SSA’s definition of “disabled.” The agency may contact you to supply additional information. Once the review is complete, you will receive a decision letter regarding your approval or denial.
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What Happens if My Application Is Approved?
Typically, you will have to wait five full months before receiving your first disability payment. However, for conditions falling under the SSA’s Compassionate Allowance process, there is a reduced or no-waiting period.
You will receive benefits monthly, usually on your birthday and usually for as long as your condition persists and renders you unable to work. It is easiest to have your payment deposited electronically. You can, however, receive checks via mail. If you receive a payment in error, you must contact the SSA and return that payment.
If there are changes in your condition and you can return to work, even in a limited capacity, you must notify the SSA.
What if I Disagree with the Payment Amount?
You can contact the SSA if you disagree with any decisions regarding your case. An SSD attorney is best equipped to argue your position and negotiate a higher payment.
What if My Application Is Denied?
You have the right to appeal your application’s denial within 60 days of the date you received the notice. Of course, it is best to trust your appeal process to an experienced SSD lawyer.
There are four levels of appeal you can pursue. Your denial letter will offer you guidance, and your lawyer will know which option is best. Your appeal request can ask:
- For a reconsideration of your application
- For a hearing before a judge
- For the Appeals Council to review your case
- For A Review by the Federal Court
An SSD Lawyer Will See Your Case Through
If you are applying for SSD, you are clearly in the midst of a stressful situation. Collecting the information required to complete your application and navigating the government system brings additional stress you do not need and do not have to shoulder.
Contact Pilzer and Klein today and speak with a skilled, caring SSD lawyer who will see your case through and give your situation the individual attention it deserves.