How we handle your claim may depend on your impairment, work history and other details, but here is a general overview of the Social Security Disability claims process:
- First, you must get in touch with the Social Security Administration (SSA). A representative will gather basic information from you over the phone, including your contact information, disability, place of employment and history of medical treatment.
- The SSA sends this information to the Division of Disability Determinations (DDD), a state agency responsible for making initial decisions about disability eligibility. The DDD will gather your medical records and make an initial determination on your file. Many applications are denied at this stage of the process, so do not give up if you receive an initial denial.
- After an initial denial, you have 60 days to file a Request for Reconsideration. Because the timeline is so strict, the best time to contact a knowledgeable Social Security lawyer is the moment you find out your claim has been denied. At this stage, you may have to submit additional paperwork to the DDD and it will make another decision.
- If the DDD issues a denial on your Request for Reconsideration, it is time to request a hearing so you can present your case to an administrative law judge (ALJ). Again, you have 60 days for this step, so it is vital that you work with a lawyer experienced in preparing for Social Security hearings. The right attorney will be able to develop your file thoroughly, prepare you for the hearing and present a compelling argument for why your claim should be approved.
- In the event the hearing is unsuccessful, it is possible to file an appeal with the Appeals Council.
What Can You Expect From Us?
We work with many clients who have been frustrated by other attorneys' lack of communication during this stressful process. Attorney Michael McGrail and our skilled support staff maintain contact with you at every step, meeting with you several times so you never have to wonder about the status of your claim.
When applying for the Social Security benefits you need, do not trust your file to an inexperienced lawyer, or one who only handles Social Security on the side. Count on us for knowledgeable counsel, tireless advocacy and personal support.
Take The First Step. Contact Wesley, McGrail & Wesley.
To arrange a free initial consultation at our office in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, we encourage you to contact us at 850-226-5051 or 866-445-5849 toll free.