Social Security Disability
I have had the privilege of handling Social Security Disability claims from the moment I passed the Bar Exam. Now, As a Myrtle Beach Social Security Disability attorney for nearly twelve years, I have represented clients in over 500 disability hearings and have been successful all the way to the Federal Court level. I continue to fight for the truly disabled who paid into the system and are now seeking Social Security Disability benefits. I offer a free consultation and I only take a fee if I am successful in obtaining your benefits.Social Security in a Nutshell
The Social Security system consists of two programs - Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits ("SSDIB") and Supplemental Security Income ("SSI"). Social Security Disability Benefits are benefits potentially available to individuals who have worked, and thus paid into, the system. Disability is available if they are unable to perform substantial gainful activity due to physical or mental impairments that are expected to last a year or more. Supplemental Security Income is a program with limited benefits for those who have not worked and paid into the system.The first step for anyone seeking a determination as to whether he or she is entitled to disability benefits is to submit an application.How to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?
An application can be completed at your local SSA office, over the phone at 1-800-772-1213 or completed online at The Official Website of the U.S. Social Security Administration.
Denial rates for initial applications are somewhere around 65%, so essentially two out of every three are denied. Over the years, I have developed some tips to give you the best chance when initially applying for disability benefits. First, take some time to make a list of your medical providers. This sounds simple but it is easy to forget when you are put on the spot so make the list in advance. If possible, I highly recommend obtaining and submitting your own records. SSA will make an attempt to get your records but they don't always get everything.
Last, and likely the most important advice I can give when preparing to apply, is to communicate with your doctors and to have them support your disability in writing. If they are willing to state they believe you are disabled, it goes a long way. The ideal scenario is to have a doctor you have seen for a significant period of time (and the more specialized the better) write a letter on your behalf. Often, physicians do not have time to write letters. As a Myrtle Beach disability attorney, I have forms which make this request easier for physicians. In turn, this makes it more likely a physician will assist.How to Prove You are Disabled
There are basically four ways the Social Security Administration allows you to prove your disability. The first is the most drastic. If an illness or disease is terminal and death is expected in the next 12 months, you are disabled.
Second, if an illness or disease is extremely severe it may meet a "Listing." The "Listings" are literally a listing of illnesses (and criteria about the disease or illness) that, if met, means you are disabled. For example, end stage renal failure, which is essentially when your kidneys are on the verge of completely shutting down, is a Listing.
There are also mental impairments that equal Listings, as well.
Third, if you do not have a condition that meets a Listing, you will have to show a combination of impairments renders you unable to perform work on a sustained basis. A great deal of cases fall into this category.
The fourth way, which involves something referred to as the "Grid Rules," is more complex. The Social Security Administration looks at three criteria with the Grid Rules, which are:
- Education; and
- Work History.
The easiest way to explain it is the older you are, the less educated you are and the easier your prior jobs were, the better your chances are being found disabled.Appeals and Your Need for an Attorney
Fortunately, the initial application is not an applicant's only chance. There are several chances to appeal a denied case. Once you receive a denial letter, it is wise to contact Will Parker Law to help you. There is a 60 day time limit to appeal an initial denial. You are required to file a "Request for Reconsideration." This is simply a request for the Social Security Administration to internally review the initial decision. If your receive a second denial, your appeal will include a Request for a Hearing Before an Administrative Law Judge and it is also subject to the 60 day appeal deadline. This is when you will have a chance to have your case heard by a judge. It is currently taking around 18 months from the date of your request to have your case heard. During that time, it is important to continue obtaining your medical records and documenting your impairments.
If you have been denied by the Social Security Administration, contact Will Parker Law for a free consultation. I do not receive a fee unless I win your case and the amount I can receive is regulated by the Social Security Administration.