Do you find yourself facing the long and often complicated task of applying for Social Security disability benefits? You’re far from alone. Georgia Social Security Disability lawyers represent many clients just like you.
Over 9.5 million Americans received Social Security disability benefits in 2020, accounting for billions of dollars paid to recipients each month, according to the most recent data from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Yet millions more were denied benefits, often through no fault of their own. Statistics show that the claims nearly two-thirds of all claimants are initially denied.
Should you be denied, a Social Security Disability appeal lawyer can guide you through the next steps of this process. More importantly, the right disability attorney can help you from the moment you decide to file your claim, checking every detail to ensure you avoid mistakes that could cost you your benefits.
Here’s the best way to avoid mistakes when applying for Social Security disability.
Table of Contents:
- Avoiding Social Security Disability Application Mistakes
- You’ve Been Denied—What Does a Mistake-Free Appeals Process Look Like?
- How Georgia Social Security Disability Lawyers Can Help
Avoiding Social Security Disability Application Mistakes
When your initial claim is reviewed, your application makes an important first impression. Correctly filing your application ensures that you won’t be denied benefits because of an avoidable mistake and that you gave yourself the best possible chance of approval at this initial stage of your claim.
It’s critical to include all relevant medical information about your disability, including all physical and mental conditions that prevent you from working. When names, dates, or other specific information should be included, make sure this information is complete and correct.
Be sure that all required forms are filled out entirely and correctly and submitted to the SSA by the provided deadlines.
Any inaccurate or missing information or forms submitted past their deadlines may lead to costly delays or a denial. While forms may be sent and submitted by mail, you can apply for Social Security Disability benefits online as well.
Georgia Social Security Disability lawyers are experts in Social Security law and can guide you through a mistake-free application process.
You’ve Been Denied—What Does a Mistake-Free Appeals Process Look Like?
Even if you submit a complete and correct application and meet every deadline, there’s still a chance you could be initially denied through no fault of your own.
A denial can leave you feeling understandably dejected. Yet there are steps you can take to improve your chances not only at this initial stage of your claim but to prepare to potentially appeal the denial and continue fighting for the benefits you deserve.
The next step is to file for appeals. Each stage of the process requires that you submit for appeal within 60 days of receiving notice of a decision. Although you have 60 days, it’s critical that you submit your intent to appeal as soon as possible so you don’t have to wait unnecessary additional time for an appeal process to begin.
If you’re denied, the stages of appeal include:
- Reconsideration of your claim by another reviewer
- An appeal hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
- Review by the SSA’s Appeals Council
- Taking your case to the federal district court
How you approach a request for appeal may differ based on factors such as if you disagree based on a medical decision or a non-medical decision—for instance, a discrepancy about your work history, or if you have additional or new medical evidence to submit.
Should you be denied after reconsideration of your case, you’ll need to attend a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
At this stage, it’s important to be as prepared as possible and keep track of the time and date of your hearing, as well as the specific details such as whether this will be an in-person hearing or held virtually. If the latter, make sure you have the technology capabilities and internet reliability to attend without any potential issues.
Prepare notes, and be familiar with your medical history so you can give accurate answers about how your disability impacts your daily life. Be prepared for other witnesses speaking at your hearing, including vocational and medical experts, as well as friends and family familiar with your disability.
Note that the judge’s decision can take anywhere from 60 days to six months, and a denial means you still have several levels of appeal you can seek.
How Georgia Social Security Disability Lawyers Can Help
Everyone makes mistakes. But when it comes to your Social Security disability claim, a wrong move can lead to costly delays or lost benefits.
Georgia Social Security Disability lawyers offer the knowledge and experience of helping clients like you win their benefits. They can guide you through the expectations of you at each stage of your claim, and ensure you gather and submit the right information at the right time. Disability lawyers will always give you a realistic idea of how your case is progressing and help you build the best possible strategy every step of the way.
The right attorneys can advocate for you and your family and represent you during appeals hearings and other court proceedings. With a unique knowledge of local courts and judges and their expectations, Georgia Social Security Disability lawyers can help you maximize your chances of winning your benefits.
Affleck & Gordon want to help you navigate a mistakes-free claim from the moment you decide to file.
Our Social Security Disability clients won’t typically pay an up-front fee when they decide to hire us to take on their claim. They’ll only owe a fee if they win their benefits.
For the vast majority of clients, lawyers may collect up to 25% or $6,000—whichever is lower—of your initial awarded back pay.
Schedule a free case evaluation with Affleck & Gordon today.
If your Social Security Disability claim has been denied, Affleck and Gordon can help. We’ve been helping disabled people in Georgia just like you for over 45 years. Once you have applied online for benefits, sign up for a free case evaluation here, and call us at 404-373-1649.