We never know what’s going to happen in life, and sometimes we may find ourselves in a difficult situation. If you’re disabled and unable to work, you may be wondering how you’ll support yourself and your family.
Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are given to persons who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death. The SSD program is designed to provide subsistence income to allow these people to live a normal life, as well as support any spouses or minor children.
SSD benefits are available to those who qualify, but the process of applying and appealing a denial can be complicated. A Social Security Disability Attorney can help you navigate the process and give you the best chance of getting the benefits you need.
How does the social security disability process function?
The first step in applying for SSD benefits is to complete an application. This can be done online, over the phone, or in person at your local Social Security office. Your application will be reviewed to make sure you meet the basic eligibility requirements. If you do, your case will be sent to your state’s disability determination service (DDS) for a medical evaluation.
The DDS will review your application and any medical evidence you have submitted. They may also request additional information from your doctor or ask you to undergo a consultative examination.
Once the DDS has all the necessary information, they will make a decision on your case. If you are approved for SSD benefits, you will receive a Notice of Award that will tell you how much your benefit will be and when you can expect to start receiving payments. If you are denied benefits, you will receive a Notice of Disallowance with an explanation of the reason for the decision.
You have the right to appeal the decision if you disagree with it. The appeals process can be complex, so it’s often a good idea to have an SSD attorney help you with your appeal. Visit a website to learn more about SSD and how to appeal a denial.
Benefits of hiring a Social Security Disability Lawyer
While you are not required to have an attorney to represent you in your SSD claim, there are many benefits to having one. A Social Security Disability Attorney can help you navigate the complicated application and appeals process.
An experienced lawyer will be familiar with the types of evidence that DDS will need to make a decision in your case. For example, your attorney may request a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment from your doctor. This assesses your ability to work despite your medical condition and can be very helpful in proving your eligibility for SSD benefits.
An attorney will not only help you gather the necessary evidence but will present it in a way that is most likely to result in a favorable decision. They will know what arguments are likely to be successful and can help you avoid making mistakes that could jeopardize your claim.
An attorney will also be familiar with the deadlines that you need to meet throughout the SSD process. If you miss a deadline, it could delay your claim or even result in a denial of benefits.
If your claim is denied, an attorney can help you file an appeal and represent you at hearings. They will know how to cross-examine witnesses and present evidence to support your case. There are many levels of appeal, so having an attorney to represent you can increase your chances of success.
If you are considering applying for SSD benefits, or if your claim has been denied, contact a qualified Social Security Disability Lawyer to discuss your case.