Use a Lawyer to Apply for Your Disability Benefits
What to expect: Relying on an experienced disability attorney to prepare and submit your claim can prevent you from being denied benefits on the basis of human error, such as an incomplete submission. Using legal services will not prevent your application from being denied on typical Social Security Administration quirks.
Why use a lawyer: Since most disability claims are initially denied, signing on with legal services in the beginning helps you know what to do and already have a team in place to manage your case. Plus, at Strom Law, we do not charge for assisting with an initial disability application – we work strictly on contingency. (If your disability case looks on target for approval, we’ll let you know in an initial discussion, and review your best options at that point.)
Retain a lawyer: To begin working with a disability lawyer, you’ll need to establish that your condition qualifies for Social Security disability insurance.
Strom Law Firm, L.L.C., can assist you in filing a disability application if:
- you have been disabled for at least 12 months,
- your condition is likely to keep you out of work for 12 months, or
- you have a terminal illness with documented significant disability.
Not sure if you qualify: Try our easy, “yes or no” Social Security Disability Test to quickly find out.
To request our assistance with your disability application, just give us a call at 803-252-4800, or fill out the form at the top right column. Learn more about Strom Law Firm’s Social Security Disability practices.
Apply for Disability Benefits on Your Own
In recent years, the Social Security Administration has tried to make it faster and easier to initiate disability claims. There are now several options for individuals to apply for disability insurance benefits.
Make a call: One simple phone call can begin your application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. You can call the Social Security Administration (SSA) at 1-800-772-1213. The SSA office will begin your application over the phone, then mail you the appropriate forms, and set up an appointment for you to speak with your local SSA office either by phone or in person.
File in person: You can also file a disability claim by going to your local Social Security Office and meeting with one of their staff members. This step generally takes approximately 120 days.
File online: To expedite your claim, go to the Internet. You can also initiate your disability claim online by visiting the SSA’s Apply for Disability page. Scroll down to the bottom and review the four steps. There is one form you will have to print, sign and mail, or bring to your local office. If your claim is for both SSDI and SSI, or for SSI only, you must either go to your local Social Security District Office, or call SSA at 1-800-772-1213.
After Applying for Disability
You’re not done, you’ve just started. Unfortunately, once you submit your disability application to the Social Security Administration, your claim will probably require more attention.
What you should do: The best way to help yourself is to maintain your medical records (or have someone do this for you.). This is true even if you’re working with an attorney.
One of the most common reasons why a claim for Social Security benefits is denied is due to inadequate medical documentation of a disability. You need sufficient medical documentation to support the severity of your medical condition and/or disability.
It is very important that you continue to see your medical doctor and keep up with his or her recommended course of treatment. If retained, we will work with you to make sure that your condition is documented.
It may also be helpful to keep notes on a daily basis documenting:
- how your medical condition has kept you from performing your past work,
- any side effects related to your medication,
- how you feel on a daily basis, and
- how your medical condition and/or your medication affect your ability to engage in ordinary activities such as walking, standing, sitting, as well as any effects upon your memory, concentration, or ability to interact with others.
What to expect: Every disability case is different. If your condition is credibly documented as one of the “approved” illnesses and disabilities under Social Security, your approval is only a matter of time. There are case backlogs at the SSA at every step of the process.
If your claim is denied, there are several steps to take to pursue your claim:
Once you’re approved, your first Social Security Disability benefit will be paid to you beginning at the sixth full month following the date of your application. (There is a five-month waiting period, during which you cannot receive any benefit.)
Finally, every several years, an investigator with the SSA will review your case to establish continued disability.
When to retain a disability lawyer: If you are not already working with a disability lawyer, we recommend seeking legal help from a disability lawyer as soon as you receive notice that your claim was rejected. You’ll want to file for reconsideration as soon as possible, because of case backlog within the SSA and because if you file too late, you will be required to start the entire process over.
Call Today For Help Applying For Your Social Security Disability Benefits
Attorneys in Social Security Disability cases do much more than sit in at a hearing and ask a few questions. Much pre-hearing preparation, analysis and evidence gathering go into adequate representation for your case. For this reason you should not wait until a week or two before your hearing to contact an attorney. The earlier an Attorney is able to start working on your case, the better your chances of winning. Call today for a free consultation. 803.252.4800