Social Security Disability Hearing
If you suffer an illness or disability that prevents you from returning to work, you may qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. The process of applying for disability begins with a written application accompanied by forms and documents verifying your disability. Approval or rejection of an initial application can take 3-5 months to process, so it is important to begin the process as soon as you become disabled. A Social Security disability lawyer can help facilitate the application process, but even if you have already applied, it is not too late to hire and SSD attorney to help with your disability claim.
Up to 70% of all disability applications are initially rejected. As the Social Security Administration (SSA) attempts to minimize Social Security fraud, it has created a step-by-step system of application, reconsideration, and appeal for those applying for disability benefits. An unfortunate side effect of this process is that it often takes years for workers eligible for benefits to begin receiving disability payments. However, an initial rejection is no reason to give up. An experienced Social Security lawyer has the preparation and ability necessary to efficiently handle your claim.
Requesting a Disability Hearing
If your Social Security Disability application is rejected, you will receive written notice of your denial of benefits. You have 60 days from the receipt of this notification to request a hearing. If you fail to request a disability hearing within the designated time frame, your application's rejection will stand. If you wish to attempt to apply for benefits again, you must start the application process over. An SSD lawyer knows the deadlines and statutes of limitations, and he or she can promptly handle a request for a hearing to determine your disability.
The Disability Hearing
The Disability Hearing is a legal proceeding over which an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) presides. Because it is a legal process, it is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side. Your disability lawyer can help provide witnesses and evidence to verify your disability before the judge.
The need for a Social Security benefits lawyer is so great that the ALJ is mandated by the US Supreme Court to notify applicants without legal representation that they are entitled to seek such representation and that their chances of a successful claim are improved if they proceed with their case with the assistance of an SSD lawyer.
Determination of Disability
After your disability benefits lawyer presents your case, the ALJ will consider the evidence and will provide a written ruling on your case, whether ordering or denying disability benefits. Some criteria used by the ALJ in determining disability include:
- The applicant's age
- The nature of the medical condition
- The duration or expected duration of the ailment or injury
- The expectation of future injury associated with the condition
- The expectation of the medical condition's continuation or persistence
- If the condition will prevent the applicant from returning to work in the next year
- If the condition prevents the claimant from doing any type of job
- The recent and prospective income of the applicant
With representation from a Social Security attorney, you can present the strongest possible case for your disability and your need and qualification for benefits. Contact a DC disability lawyer or Maryland disability lawyer to handle your claim.