When should I file my application?
You should file your application as soon as you believe that you are disabled. If you delay you may reduce your benefits by thousands of dollars. Additionally if you have been unemployed for an extended period of time your eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance may be in jeopardy.
How long does it take to receive Social Security benefits?
Currently it can take 300 days to reach your first hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
How much will it cost to have an attorney represent me before Social Security? That depends on the agreement that you sign with your attorney and on the regulations of Social Security. We do not charge a fee unless our clients are approved. We are paid out of your back benefits if you are approved by Social Security. This means that you can have an attorney on your side who knows the system.
How can I improve my chances of being approved for benefits?
The most important thing for claimants to do is to continue treating with their doctor. Presenting Social Security with the evidence of continued medical care demonstrates the legitimacy and degree of your disability. If you are being treated by your doctor for several months or years, and your condition is deteriorating, this is strong proof that you are disabled.
What is the process for applying for Social Security?
The first step is to file an application with the Social Security Administration. You file your application by yourself or may file your application with the assistance of an attorney.
When will I know if I am approved?
This depends on your case. Most applicants are denied at the first step of the application and at the reconsideration phase. Your best chance of being approved is at the hearing stage. This is the first time that Social Security sees you in person. It allows you to humanize your application. You and your attorney will appear before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and present evidence in support of your claim.
What if I am denied at the ALJ hearing?
You have the opportunity to appeal your case one more time to Social Security. If the SSA denies your final appeal your only option is to appeal your case to the federal courts. Very few cases make it to this stage. When you appeal your case to the federal courts the only people that can advocate for you are attorneys admitted to federal practice. We have a team of lawyers admitted to the federal courts who can take your case as far as it needs to go.
I am only 32. Can I get Social Security disability benefits?
You can qualify for Social Security at any age, but it is generally more difficult for younger workers to be approved. Therefore, it is especially important for younger workers to contact an experienced attorney to review their case.
I applied for Social Security two years ago and was denied. Can I reapply?
Yes. You can apply multiple times. Your condition may have deteriorated over that time since you first applied. Also, you may have not presented the evidence to Social Security in a convincing manner. Remember they are a large bureaucracy. It helps to have someone on your side who knows how it works.