Application for Social Security Disability
Serving the Western United States
Social Security Disability benefit claims can take a significant amount of your time and energy before they are approved. It is not uncommon for SSD claims to be initially denied. If this happens, the disability claimant has four appeals where they can attempt to reverse the initial denial. With the help of a qualified Social Security Disability benefits lawyer, you have the best chance of having your claim approved in order to receive money to ease your financial stress while you are unable to work.
The best way to apply for SSD benefits is to apply in person to your nearest Social Security office. You could also attempt to schedule a telephone interview. Be sure to file your claim as soon as your physician rules that you are unfit to work for the next 12 months, or that your condition is likely fatal. Social Security is not a short-term or partial disability—it is income to cover a total disability. Therefore, if you are out of work for a few weeks or even months you will not be able to collect this type of income.
Disability Claim Phases
Your first step is to thoroughly prepare and complete the SSD application. Make sure you have all the requested documentation, including:
- Any military service discharge information
- W2 or IRS 1040 forms from the past year
- Bank account information
- Contact information of hospitals, doctors and any applicable medical facility or health care professional
- Patient ID numbers and dates of all medical treatment
- Names of medicines and doctors who prescribed them
- Medical test information and results
- Information regarding any workers’ compensation claims you filed
After that, submit your claim to the Social Security Administration and wait for the result. Do not be discouraged if you are initially denied, as about 70 percent of applicants are denied on the first attempt.
Filing an Appeal
A disability claimant may file four total appeals, in an effort to have the disability claim approved. The first appeal, which must be made within 60 days of your denial, is a request to reconsider your claim. The second appeal entails a hearing before an administrative law judge where you will request a reconsideration during a personal hearing (within 60 days from your second denial). This is your best chance of having your claim approved with the help of a Social Security Disability benefits attorney to represent your case.
The third appeal is a review by the Appeals Council of the administrative law judge’s decision. During this appeal, the judge’s decision may be reviewed for any errors, including technical errors or substantial mistakes like overlooking important medical evidence. The Appeals Council may reverse the judge’s decision, order another hearing or deny your claim a fourth time. Your fourth appeal will be filed in federal district court and is your last chance of having your disability claim approved.
If your Social Security Disability benefits were denied, please contact the Social Security Disability benefit attorneys at Law Offices of Fred J. Fleming today. We’ll help you win your claim so you concentrate on your physical or mental health.