The Social Security Disability Evaluation Process- What to Expect - What to AvoidIf you are considering applying for Social Security Disability or have already been denied the benefits, chances are you are in a lot of pain and frustrated about your inability to work. Can we talk? Let's go over what is involved to start your application, and what is involved when Social Security reviews your medical record, and decides if you are eligible for monthly disability payments and health insurance. Pour yourself a cup of tea and let me explain.
The Massachusetts Social Security Disability lawyers at Keefe Disability Law help people like you on a daily basis. In fact, disability is all we do. We also serve clients in New Hampshire and Rhode Island. We know the Social Security Disability application process inside and out, and pride ourselves on sharing that information with the three-state communities.
Let's take a closer look at how to obtain Social Security benefits if you are suffering from a disability that is leaving you unable to work:
- Discuss the issue with your doctor. Your primary care physician is going to be the one who backs up your claim that you are not physically or mentally capable of working at any job for at least 12 months. The word "any" is important here. Just because you might not be able to perform the tasks at your current position does not automatically make you eligible for Social Security Disability. For example, you might be quite capable of taking on a new light duty job that allows you to sit down during the shift. Having open and frequent discussions with your doctor about your situation will help you determine whether or not you should apply.
- Apply for benefits with the Social Security Administration. There are four ways to do this:
- 1. Call Keefe Disability Law at 888.904.6847 for professional help with your application.
- 2. Visit your local Social Security Administration office.
- 3. Apply online. Visit http://www.ssa.gov/applyfordisability/ and follow the steps and protocols outlined on the Social Security Administration website.
- 4. Call Social Security at 800.772.1213. You will be scheduled for a phone interview and then sent the necessary paperwork for your application once the interview is complete.
After your application is completed, Social Security will review your medical records, and apply it's own assessment of disability as set forth in Social Security regulations.
Allow Social Security to complete their 5-step disability evaluation process. Here is how Social Security goes through the process of approving or denying a claim
- By determining if you have been working.
- By determining if your condition is considered "severe."
- By evaluating whether or not your condition is listed as one of Social Security's "listed impairments."
- By deciding whether or not you are capable of doing the work at your current job.
- By deciding if you can perform any other work if you are unable to do your current job.
An experienced disability lawyer will understand that this process may seem confusing, but he or she will know by experience what the Social Security Administration requires and investigates during the claims process. Don't hesitate to ask an attorney for more information on this process.
- Wait for an approval. While an approval can be good news, there are still loose ends that need to be tied up in order to ensure that you receive your benefits in a timely manner. A lawyer can help you submit the final paperwork and arrange for direct deposit.
- Submit an appeal if you are denied. This can also be tricky. A denial means additional paperwork and the resubmission of your medical records. Statistics show that people with legal representation are more likely to receive benefits than people who do not seek help.
- Dealing with denial a second time around. After the second denial, an applicant is required to go to a hearing to plead their case before a judge. This can be intimidating, especially if you are not prepared to speak or identify the appropriate documentation needed.
- Submitting a second application. If you have been completely denied benefits, the final option is to apply again using a brand new application. Don't give up hope - it is still possible to obtain benefits after denial!
There are many mistakes that can be made during this lengthy process. As lawyers who handle disability claims in Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts for a living, we understand this - you are not an attorney nor did you expect to be unable to work.
We want to help.
That is why Attorney John Keefe wrote the Seven Costly Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Social Security Disability Claim. Order it today to find out what you can do to help your claim. We'd also be more than happy to provide you with a case evaluation - free of charge - when you call us at 888.904.6847. You can also tell us about your situation using our online contact form.
Framingham, MA 01701