You may be afraid to file for Social Security Disability (SSD), and that's perfectly understandable. After all, it's hard to accept that you may not go back to your job for a long time, or that your working life may be over. You've worked hard for everything you have, and it's tough to accept that you may not go back to work.
You need to know that filing your SSD claim is a complicated process. Most people's applications are denied by Social Security, and appealing the Social Security Administration's (SSA) denial is even more difficult.
Once you decide to file for SSD, you need to gather the necessary forms and information to complete the application. You must prove that you can't work for at least one year due to your disability, and you must provide medical records and a doctor's opinion to convince Social Security's examiners. You'll also need to provide other paperwork, including:
- Your birth certificate or proof of birth
- W-2 form(s) and/or self-employment tax returns
- Naturalization papers, if applicable
- U.S. military discharge papers, if applicable
Gathering all of this information and paperwork is time-consuming, and even if you submit everything properly, your request will probably be among the 70 percent of initial claims that Social Security denies — even if your impairment is on the SSA's list of accepted disabilities!
If you need Social Security Disability benefits, don't let the possibility of denial stop you from applying. After all, some people are approved the first time they apply. One thing you can do is get professional Social Security assistance from Gerling Law. We can help you fill out and submit your application, and we will keep you updated on your application's status as it moves through the SSD system. If your initial claim is denied, we'll guide you through the next steps of reconsideration and appeal.
Has your Social Security Disability claim already been denied? We can still take your case and put you back on track to getting your benefits.
How To File For Social Security Disability Benefits
Filing for SSD is a lengthy and complicated process, and even if you've researched the process online, it can be very confusing. Factors such as your age, disability and even the person who reviews your application at the SSA will determine the outcome of your claim. In most cases, the Social Security Disability process flows as follows:
- You file your initial claim. You can use Gerling Law or file your claim in person at the Social Security office or online.
- Around 70 percent of claims are rejected the first time they are filed. If Social Security turns you down, you can file for reconsideration, a complete review of your claim that is conducted by someone other than the person who made the original decision. You have up to 60 days to request reconsideration (in writing) from the date of your denial.
- Hearing before the Administrative Law Judge. If your request for reconsideration results in another denial, you can request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The ALJ is appointed by and works for the federal government, and will review your medical records, work history and the reasons you were originally denied benefits. The ALJ may also question you in person about your claim.
- The Appeals Council. If your case is denied after your hearing with the ALJ, you may file a written appeal to the Appeals Council within 60 days of the ALJ's ruling. The Appeals Council will review the ALJ's ruling to determine if an error was made in denying your claim. This review can take up to a year to complete, at which time the Appeals Council may issue its own decision, return your case to the ALJ for another hearing or allow the ALJ's decision to stand.
As you can see, filing for SSD is a lengthy, difficult and exhausting process. Fortunately, you don't have to go it alone. The Gerling Law offices will file your claim carefully and professionally. Whether you've already been denied, or are just starting from the beginning, Gerling Law can make sure you take the right steps toward getting your disability benefits.
Social Security Disability Requirements
You may be asking, "Do I meet the requirements for Social Security Disability?" You may be surprised to know that more people meet SSD requirements than you might think.
Social Security Disability Requirements For Adults
The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines disability differently than other programs, and pays only for total disability, not partial or short-term disability. Under SSA's rules, you are considered disabled if you meet the following requirements:
- You can't do the type of work that you did before.
- You have earned sufficient work credits by working and paying into Social Security.
- You cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s), as decided by the SSA.
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or may result in your death.
The Gerling Law offices will go over each SSD requirement with you to determine if you are defined as disabled according to the SSA, and we will guide you through every step of the SSD system.
Social Security Disability Requirements For Children
Children can qualify for SSD, too. If your child is disabled, Gerling Law can help you obtain SSD benefits for your child once they turn 18. A disabled child can receive SSD benefits on your record after age 18, according to the following rules:
- The disabling impairment started before 22 years of age.
- SSA's definition of disability for adults has been met.
- One parent must be disabled, retired or deceased.
Dealing with the government is never simple. You've spent your life paying into Social Security, but getting the benefits you've earned and deserve is difficult and time-consuming. Let the Gerling Law offices help you cut through the red tape and deal with the government for you!
Your Social Security Disability Status
After you submit your SSD application, your claim is sent to the state disability processing agency for a medical decision. Unfortunately, the government doesn't have a fixed deadline, and it could easily take 60 days or more before you learn the status of your claim. If you're denied by Social Security and request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, it may take as long as 18 months for that hearing to take place. Being unable to work due to your disability makes these long wait times even more frustrating and difficult. Let the Gerling Firm reduce your stress by handling the burden for you.
Let Us Put Our Social Security Disability Experience To Work For You
Many people turn to the Gerling Firm for help in handling the complicated and frustrating Social Security Disability benefits process. By successfully representing thousands of clients, we have built a reputation for powerful advocacy, integrity and caring. Our experience gives comfort to our clients, many of whom are struggling to pay bills and deal with the challenges created by their disabilities.
From the initial paperwork through the SSD appeal process, we know exactly what needs to be done. We'll handle your Social Security Disability claim every step of the way and keep you informed throughout the process. Even if your initial claim has been denied, we can still jump in and steer you toward the benefits you deserve.
To get the help you need, call Gerling Law today at 812-266-9051 or complete our Social Security Disability case evaluation for a free, no-obligation initial consultation. Remember, Go with Experience. Go with Gerling.