Applying for Social Security Disability can be a daunting task. Hiring a lawyer to help you with the application and follow up the process, can help save both time and headache. However, whether you are navigating the social security disability application process with the guidance and support of an attorney or going it alone, it is important to understand some of the in’s and out’s of the system prior to beginning.
The Social Security Disability Application Process can be a Lengthy One
Most Social Security Disability cases are processed within 3-4 months. However, it is important to understand the potential length of the process, if your claim is denied. The initial approval phases take 3-4 months. If the application is denied, it goes through a reconsideration process that can take an additional 3-4 months. If further denied, the case goes to an administrative law hearing, which requires an approximate 12 month waiting period. All in all, be prepared for the entire process to take up to 18 months.
You Must be Receiving Medical Treatment in Order to Qualify for Social Security Disability
To ensure that your claim has the best chance of approval, it is important that you are currently being treated by a doctor or have recently sought medical treatment for your illness or injury. On occasion, people will submit claims for old workplace injuries. These cases are not as viable since there is no current evidence of treatment. When you see your physician, be sure to share details of your illness or injury, so there is a paper trail if they need to be contacted by your lawyer for claim support.
To be Eligible for Social Security Benefits, You Must Be Out of Work for at least 12 Months
In order to be eligible for Social Security Disability payment, you must have been out of work for at least 12 months or have medical evidence suggesting that your illness or injury will prevent you from working for at least 12 months. If your illness or injury will keep you out of work for a period shorter than 12 months, you should connect with your workplace for other options. Furthermore, if an injury or illness that was expected to be a shorter recovery is extended, you should contact your lawyer after you have been out of work for 6 months to explore your options with Social Security Disability.
Adding New Medical Conditions or Disabilities Does Not Require you to Start Over
Once your application has been approved, you can add future conditions to your case without reapplying. The documents that you receive upon approval will include the contact information for you to notify Social Security if your condition improves, worsens or you sustain a new condition.
Social Security Disability Benefits: Find Out How Much You Will Get Paid If Your Application is Approved
There is no spectrum of disability in terms of Social Security Claims. Your payment amount is based on your work history and the amount of FICA taxes have been paid. To determine the payout amount that you are entitled to, go to https://www.ssa.gov and create an account.
Your Social Security Disability Lawyer Only Receives Payment if You Win Your Case
Social Security Disability law is regulated by The United States Social Security Administration and is contingency based. Therefore, you are only required to pay your lawyer, if your case is approved. In the case that your claim is approved, you will owe your lawyer 25% of any back pay awarded, up the fee cap of $6000. This total is a one-time fee paid to the attorney upon the approval of your case.
If you are yet to begin the Social Security Disability application process or unsure about Social Security Disability benefits, it could be advantageous to reach out to a lawyer for a consultation. The attorney will review your case with you over the phone and help you better understand the process and your chances of approval, prior to moving forward. If you have already submitted your application and have been denied, working with an attorney to review your case may increase your chances of future approval
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