Many Social Security disability applications are initially denied. A case may be denied because necessary medical records have not been received by Social Security, or because the applicant cannot satisfy certain requirements of the program, or because of technical errors in the filing of the claim. In order to keep an application proceeding, an appeal must be filed within 60 days.
When retaining a representative to assist you with an appeal, you should be aware that many firms advertise to represent claimants are not locally based. In some cases, these practices are based in other States and offer little or no opportunity to meet with an attorney to discuss your claim. We will meet with you in our office to evaluate your case and help you understand the system and the process. As your representative, we will work to get your claim approved.
Contact our office to discuss your claim.
A Social Security disability attorney can assist you throughout the claims process. If you contact attorney Dick for your denied Social Security disability claim, he'll:
- Gather information about your medical history
- Meet with you to discuss your claim options
- Help you fight your denied claim
There are a number of reasons a claim may be denied. For example, if you have not already been disabled for over a year, or it is not clear from your medical records that your disability will last for more than a year, then you are not entitled to benefits under the rules. If you are still working, and are earning more than approximately $1,100.00 gross income per month, you are not considered disabled under the rules, regardless of your medical condition. If your medical records do not contain specific findings, then the Social Security Administration cannot find you disabled under their rules at the first steps in the process.
When you are working and paying taxes, part of your tax money funds the Social Security Disability (SSD) program. Think of those taxes as purchasing a Long Term Disability Insurance policy. However, your coverage under that "policy" will expire after a period of time. Generally, you can think of this as a 5 year period, though the rules for computing the period can be complicated. In order to receive benefits under this program, you must be able to prove that you satisfied all of the requirements of the program before that period expired. As a result, it is better to get started as quickly as possible to obtain and compile the records necessary to prove your claim. If you have never paid into Social Security through your taxes, or it has been more than five years since you stopped paying into that program, you may not qualify for SSD benefits even if you can prove that you are unable to work due to physical and/or mental impairments.
If you can prove that you are unable to work due to physical and/or mental impairments, but you do not qualify for SSD, you may still be eligible for an award of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The benefits paid under this program are smaller than those paid under SSD, and the benefits can be reduced or denied based on assets you may own, assistance you may receive from other sources, or any income you may be able to generate. However, if you are unable to work, any financial assistance is preferable to nothing. The process for proving disability is the same under the SSI and SSD system.
If your medical records provide all the proof necessary to satisfy Social Security rules, you can start to receive benefits within a matter of a few months. If your claim is initially denied, you have to go through several steps before your case is scheduled for hearing by a Judge. It is not unusual for it to take approximately 18 months for a case to be heard by a Judge after the case has first completed all the steps within the Social Security Administration. This wait time is frustrating for everyone who applies, but you can't get to the end of the process unless you get started and take all the necessary steps to keep your case proceeding through the system.