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Applying for Social Security Disability
For many, the hardest part of getting Social Security benefits is the first step - applying for disability. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration has made the initial application process as simple as possible, providing several different ways to apply.
Applying by Telephone
For many, this is the easiest way to apply for Social Security benefits. Simply call 409-832-2300 or 337-431-7170 and speak to a Social Security Lawyer about your claim. The administration employee will collect all necessary information about your case, and set an appointment for a follow-up, detailed application interview with a claims representative. It will be important to have all relevant information handy at the time of the interview.
Applying for Social Security Online
It's really easy to apply for benefits on the Internet. Just go to www.ssa.gov and click on "Applying for Disability Benefits". You can go there directly by following this link. The link will tell you everything you need to know about how to file for disability benefits. After you apply online, you will make an appointment for a telephone interview with a claims representative. Just like applying over the phone, it will help to have as much information handy as possible.
Apply for Disability in Person
For those folks who feel more comfortable just visiting face to face, the Social Security office is a fine place to apply for disability benefits. It's best to call and make an appointment first by dialing 409-832-2300 or 337-431-7170. There, you will be assisted with your disability application and you will receive information on how your claim will progress.
Denied Social Security Benefits
If You've Been Denied Benefits, Don't Delay!
You have a limited amount of time to file for an appeal. There are also many things to discuss and consider before filing for reconsideration or for a hearing.
Disability Attorneys, Claims Representatives, and Social Security administrators, all agree that the number one reason that a benefits are denied is because of a general lack of preparation on the part of the claimant at the time of filing or appeal.
If your claim has been denied, call and talk to a lawyer right away. Important time deadline are in place and it takes time to gather additional medical records and schedule medical appointments, so don't delay.
There are two types of appeals: Reconsideration and the Disability Appeals Hearing.
A Request for Reconsideration is basically asking the SSA to take a second look at the case by having a separate claims examiner review the statements and records. It is administrative in nature and takes several weeks (up to two months in some cases) for a decision to be reached.
A Disability Appeals Hearing is a live hearing before a federal Administrative Law Judge. It is here that your lawyer can have some of the greatest impact on your chances of winning.
What to Do After You've Receive Your Denial Notice
Your first step after receiving any kind of denial notice is to contact a lawyer. A 15-minute, confidential talk with a lawyer may be the best thing you do to help your case at this point. A good, experienced Social Security attorney will know what to do and how to help. As stated before, there are time deadlines and other important things to consider so act now.
Social Security Hearings
If after you have filed for reconsideration and have been denied, then you may file for a hearing before an administrative law judge (often referred to as the ALJ). The ALJ is someone who has previously played no role in deciding whether you're disabled, so in effect, you get a fresh shot at presenting your disability claim. Also, the ALJ is given the authority to decide on his own whether or not you are truly disabled.
You have 60 days to request a hearing once you've been notified that your claim was previously denied. It usually only takes a couple of weeks to receive a notice of the time and place of the hearing, and according to the rules, the hearing should take place within 75 miles of where you live.
About The Social Security Disability Hearing
Although your job at the hearing is to prove that you are disabled, there will be no defense attorney or other government worker at the hearing who will try to prove that you're not disabled. For that reason, the hearing is considered non-adversarial. However, that does not mean that you don't need an attorney. Clearly, a claimant who has an attorney representative stands a much better chance of winning his or her case than a claimant who tries to prove the case alone.
The hearing typically lasts about one hour and often, you will know at the end of the hearing whether or not the judge will rule in your favor. Your attorney will certainly be able to help you understand the many different things that are discussed between the judge and the other professionals in attendance.
Who Will Be Present At The Social Security Disability Hearing?
There may be several persons in attendance at the hearing. In addition to the Administrative Law Judge, there may also be a vocational expert present to help the judge know what kinds of jobs you're able to perform. There may also be a medical expert present.
Although it is not required that you (the claimant) be at the hearing, it is certainly wise to attend. Not only are you more likely to win your case if you actually go to the hearing, but it's also likely that the judge will want to ask you questions about your case while you are present.
Lastly, your attorney should be there with you, to talk on your behalf, to help you know how to answer certain questions truthfully in such a way that it will increase your chances of winning. Your attorney will also be able to point out facts and situations to the judge that are often buried in the mass of paperwork that usually goes along with a Social Security disability file.
If you're scheduled for a Social Security hearing, or if you've been denied benefits and need to request a hearing before an administrative law judge, then it's important to talk to a Social Security Disability Lawyer as soon as possible.
Social Security Disability Appeals
Although it takes time, the disability appeals process is fairly simple to understand.
Social Security Appeals - Reconsideration
After you receive your first denial letter, you only have 60 days to request reconsideration of your claim by a second claims examiner. Although it seems like a waste of time (and it often is), there are times when taking a second look at a claim results in a favorable decision because of the work of your Disability attorney or SSI Lawyer.
A lawyer can help you prepare and file for reconsideration. With proper assistance, your chance of winning your claim increases, so don't go it alone. Call 409-832-2300 or 337-431-7170 to talk with a lawyer now. There is no charge for the consultation.
Social Security Appeals - The Disability Appeals Hearing
If your claim is denied after requesting a reconsideration of your initial application, then the next step is to request a hearing before an administrative law judge. Although it may take a long time to actually get to the hearing date, this step is important because it allows you to actually state your claim directly to the decision-maker.
Although the hearing is considered non-adversarial there is still plenty of need for an attorney. Statistics show that claimants who show up at the hearing represented by an experienced Social Security Lawyer have a much higher likelihood of being awarded benefits than those who merely represent themselves. You only have 60 days from the date that your reconsideration was denied, so it is important to file for a hearing as quickly as possible.
Call a Social Security Attorney at Packard LaPray Today