Applying for disability can feel overwhelming.
You are undertaking a new plan of action and likely have no experience with this process. This can be nerve-wracking. In addition, you are probably not feeling well (physically, mentally, or both). It is also stressful to realize that the outcome of your efforts will matter a lot, and it can be frightening to feel that you have to reveal physical or emotional weaknesses, when usually one tries to hide one's imperfections. You may also be worried about saying the wrong things or not remembering to make important points.
The Moss Disability Group is here to help you throughout the application process.
Obviously, filing your application is the first step. Thankfully, most cases can be filed online. The Social Security Administration provides a checklist of information you will need to apply online for a standard adult disability application, which can be accessed here.
Though applications are filed through the Social Security Administration, the Initial and Reconsideration disability determinations are actually made by state agencies, generally referred to as Disability Determination Services (DDS).
Disability examiners at DDS will review your claim and your medical records. It is important to provide DDS with all of your medical records. If more information is needed about your impairments, DDS might contact you, your medical providers, or any friends you included as references on your application. In addition, DDS might request that you attend a consultative examination (CE). A CE is either a physical or mental examination by a third-party independent doctor. The results of your CE are sent to DDS.
It generally takes at least 6 months for a claimant to receive an initial determination of eligibility. Approximately 35% of initial claims are approved for disability. If an initial claim is denied, the claimant can appeal the denial by filing a "request for reconsideration." It usually takes another 3 to 4 months to receive a determination at the Reconsideration Stage.
Obtaining the services of a disability attorney early in the application process can be extremely beneficial.
If a claimant is denied initially and at "reconsideration," the next step in the application process is requesting a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). If a claimant's representative succeeds in getting an ALJ to find that the claimant is disabled, the claimant will likely be entitled to back pay, from which 25% will be deducted by the Social Security Administration and paid to the claimant's representative (up to a maximum of $6,000).
However, it can potentially take 12 to 24 months to get an ALJ to make a decision. That means there could be an additional 12 to 24 months of back pay from which potentially 25% of the claimant's back pay will be deducted. Hiring a disability attorney early in the application process can help a claimant get approved prior to the ALJ Hearing Level, thereby avoiding having to pay a larger portion of one's back pay in representative fees.
The Moss Disability Group is able to represent you during this difficult time. They can guide you throughout the disability application process, from the initial application until all appeals have been exhausted and the final decision has been made. They will approach the application in a measured and well-planned manner, making sure all of the i's are dotted and t's crossed.
In addition, The Moss Disability Group is able to support your claim with assertions based upon our knowledge of Social Security disability rules and regulations.
Contact us to see if we can help you receive the disability benefits you deserve.
- You can usually apply for disability online.
- It generally takes at least 6 months to receive an Initial Determination.
- Approximately 35% of disability claims are approved at the Initial Stage.
- It is important to approach the application process in a measured and planned manner.