When a disability puts you out of work, your life becomes uncertain and stressful. That’s why you want someone on your side who will ensure your Social Security disability claim is handled smoothly and properly. While there are some hoops to jump through, a disability attorney can make the procedure less complicated.
Application for Benefits
Your first step in a social security disability case is to file your application for benefits. It’s important to note from the very beginning that this process can be lengthy and complicated. Under normal circumstances, you will receive the results of your application within about four months. However, it all depends on how backed up the Social Security Administration (SSA) is at the time. Sometimes answers come in sooner, sometimes they take longer.
Your attorney will do their best to keep you up to date when they have information. When you do receive your answer, it’s good to prepare to hear “no” the first time you file as well as when you file for reconsideration. In fact, 70%-80% of all claims are denied at these levels.
If you receive a denial, don’t worry. Your attorney will then walk you through filing for a request for a hearing. This is where they’ll be able to argue your case in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), who will ultimately make the final decision.
Social Security Claims Hearing
When the SSA is especially backed up, it can take 10-12 months to receive a hearing date. Try not to get discouraged during this time. Instead, take the opportunity to write your congressperson about your dissatisfaction with the amount of time it takes to process these cases. Every voice counts and it may be yours that helps get through.
Once we get to the hearing, you’ll appear with your attorney in front of the ALJ to give testimony. Your attorney will also argue your case at this time, presenting medical records and other pertinent information to your case.
The ALJ may choose to bring a vocational expert (VE) in to testify about your past work and give their opinion on whether you’re able to continue working or not. Your attorney will be able to cross-examine the VE to point out any inaccuracies and ensure that you get a fair hearing.
Social Security Disability Hearing Results
Once the hearing is complete, you’ll receive a written decision from the ALJ. If you receive a positive outcome, it takes about 30-90 days to process the decision and determine your compensation. When it’s processes, you’ll receive your lump sum of past due benefits as well as your monthly benefit.
If the claim is denied, you’ll discuss next steps with your disability attorney.
When you work with Disability Associates for your Social Security disability claim, you have peace of mind knowing that we will do everything in our power to help you win your case – and we do it with no upfront fees or costs. In fact, you don’t pay unless we win.
We are also available remotely during the coronavirus pandemic should you have any questions or concerns for the duration of your case. We plan to continue operating at full capacity during this time of uncertainty and stress.
Do you believe you have a claim? Contact Disability Associates today so we can set up an initial interview and get the process started. Getting in touch is easy. Just pick up the phone and call 410.686.2227 or contact us on the website.