Applying for Social Security disability benefits may be necessary when you become ill or are injured and cannot work any longer. SSDI benefits can help provide financial support as you learn how to cope with an unexpected mental or physical disability. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to deny your initial application. However, you shouldn’t give up. Instead, contact the Indiana Social Security disability attorneys at Gerling Law.
Am I Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits in Indiana?
To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have a disability that meets the SSA’s eligibility guidelines. Provided you meet the necessary criteria, you could be eligible to receive monthly disability benefits. The disability must prevent you from working for more than a year, or doctors must expect your condition to last the rest of your life. You also must have earned enough work credits to be eligible.
The SSA has a comprehensive list of conditions that qualify. Examples of the SSA’s disabling conditions include:
- Crohn’s Disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), hepatitis, and other digestive tract problems;
- Heart failure, coronary artery disease, and other cardiovascular conditions;
- Thyroid problems, diabetes, and other endocrine-related disorders;
- Rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus, HIV/AIDS, and other immune system disorders;
- Bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, schizophrenia, and other mental disorders; and
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI), cerebral palsy, epilepsy, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological disorders.
Depending on your circumstances, you could be eligible to receive benefits for the months leading up to your application. The SSA may award back payments for up to twelve months, depending on the date of your disability. While the SSA may retroactively award benefits, it’s not guaranteed. That is why you shouldn’t wait to present a claim for Social Security disability benefits.
Why Was My Claim Denied?
There are numerous reasons the SSA might deny your claim. Sometimes the denial is due to a simple error or missing documentation. Some of the most common reasons for denials include:
- Lack of supporting medical evidence;
- Not following the treatment protocols;
- Failure to cooperate;
- Submitting a new claim after a prior denial; and
- Income level too high (only applicable to SSI benefits).
Don’t despair if you do receive a denial. A majority of SSDI claims are denied the first time around. Fortunately, the SSA offers an appeals process that will allow you to correct whatever mistakes happened with your initial application.
How Can a Lawyer Help with My Social Security Disability Claim?
Hiring an Indiana disability lawyer is one of the best ways to improve your chances of the SSA approving your claim for disability. However, the process can be complicated, and it’s time-consuming. You need to be diligent in submitting all documentation within the allotted time frame. The SSA is not necessarily forgiving when it comes to missing deadlines.
When you hire an attorney who specializes in denied social security disability claims, your chances of approval on appeal improve drastically. At Gerling Law, our disability lawyers have decades of experience helping clients get approved for Social Security disability benefits.
We can explain exactly why your claim was denied and how to fix the problems on appeal. If you request a hearing, we will be your advocate and prepare you for everything that happens.
Will I Have to File a Lawsuit?
In some cases, it will be necessary to file a lawsuit. The general process upon appeal starts with submitting a request for reconsideration. This is where you ask another claims examiner to take a look at your initial application. The examiner may ask questions and consider any new evidence you present.
If the new examiner denies your claim again, you can request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ). Your disability lawyer will prep you so you understand what questions may be asked. You can call witnesses to testify and present new evidence.
If you disagree with the ALJ’s decision, then you can ask the Social Security Appeals Council to review your claim. However, they are not required to give you another hearing. If your request for review with an ALJ was denied or you disagree with the Appeal Council’s ruling, your recourse is to file a lawsuit in federal court.
Rather than wait to hire an Indiana Social Security disability benefits lawyer once you’ve exhausted all your appeals, hire our firm initially. We can work to get your claim approved before there is a need to file a federal lawsuit.
Get a Free Consultation
Social Security disability appeals are complex and can go on for years in some cases. Don’t risk precious time by trying to handle a claim on your own. Contact our Indiana disability lawyers at Gerling Law today.
Call us at 1-888-GERLING or complete our case review online to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation. Let us put our years of experience handling Social Security disability appeals to work for you. Remember, Go with Experience. Go with Gerling.™