The Social Security Disability Application and Appeals Process
Social Security Disability is designed to help people who have paid into the system and now struggle with an injury or medical condition that prevents them from working for 12 months or more or is expected to result in death. Evidence from a treating physician is often crucial in determining whether you qualify.
While the idea is to help disabled individuals who are out of work for an extended period, the system is cumbersome and the procedures can be complicated. That’s why it’s important to begin the application process as soon as possible. If you believe you qualify for disability, you should immediately contact your local Social Security Office. This can be done by a phone call. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will take the medical information and obtain your records. They will review your claim and accept or deny it. Most claims are denied during the first stage.
If your claim is denied, it’s understandable that you would be upset. But you are not alone, and you should not give up.
The fact is that more than half of initial claims are rejected. This often happens because:
- The application has incomplete information.
- There is insufficient medical evidence of a disability.
- The case for disability has not been stated clearly enough.
Not only can the application itself be an issue, but the internal language of the SSA may also work against claimants.
Some of the intimidating terms you will find in a claim form are:
- 5-step sequential evaluation process
- “Blue Book” listings
- Substantial gainful activity
- Residual functional capacity
- Medical-vocational guidelines
- Longitudinal treatment record.
If you are not familiar with these phrases and you’re not sure how they should be used, you may experience additional obstacles in receiving disability payments.
But a rejection of your original application does not mean there aren’t any other avenues to attain the Social Security Disability payments you deserve. This is the point at which you need to hire a Raleigh Social Security Disability lawyer. Our attorneys can file your appeal request and start documenting in more detail why you are entitled to disability.
The appeal process has to be done within 60 days from the date your request for reconsideration was denied. All documentation is submitted to a judge who reviews the record and makes a decision. If the claim is accepted, you will start receiving disability checks each month, plus you will receive all back disability payments from the date you filed your claim.
You will be required to appear at the hearing with your lawyer, and a judge will hear the evidence. The judge may ask a vocational expert to get involved. At the conclusion of the process, the judge will then make a decision. If the judge upholds the denial, you can make an appeal to the commission. An appeal to the commission takes many, many months, and nothing can be done except wait for the review.
The length of time from start to finish for receiving Social Security Disability benefits can be as little as six months or as long as two years. But remember, it all starts with a phone call to the SSA to begin the process.
Contact Our Raleigh SSD Lawyers Today
After being in the workforce for years and investing so much of yourself in a career, it’s reasonable to expect support when you become unable to work due to a disability. But chances are that you will face major obstacles in receiving the Social Security Disability benefits you deserve.
You don’t have to struggle alone. The experienced Wake County Social Security Disability attorneys at Hardison & Cochran are here to help you get you the benefits you are entitled to receive.
Call the experienced Raleigh SSD appeal lawyers at Hardison & Cochran toll free at 800-434-8399 now or fill out our online contact form. We represent SSD applicants who live in Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Wake County, Fayetteville, Dunn, Greensboro, Research Triangle Park, Wilmington, the Triangle, the Triad, Person County, Southern Pines, and throughout North Carolina.
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