Social Security Disability Law
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Many people initially file for Social Security disability benefits themselves, online with the U.S. Social Security Administration website.
The Social Security Administration states that roughly 23% of applicants are approved on their initial application. However, any small error can lead to a denial of the benefits a person deserves. The rate of technical denials from 2001 through 2010 increased from 10% to over 35%.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Social Security Disability Insurance Benefit (SSDI)?
SSDI is one of two benefit programs available through SSA based on disability pursuant to SSA’s requisite medical criteria. Payments under this plan are based upon prior work reported to the Social Security Administration. A claimant must earn substantial credits based on taxable work in order to qualify for SSDI. The amount of payment is based directly on the claimant’s earnings record. Benefits will be paid to claimants who have earned enough credits and who are unable to work as a result of a disability that has lasted or will last for at least 12 months or end in death.
What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a Federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes)available to disabled claimants. SSI benefits are payable if a claimant meets the financial needs requirements instead of the prior work of the claimant. Children and adults may be eligible to receive SSI benefits based on limited income and resources, living arrangements, and medical disability criteria.
What does a disabled individual need to do in order to apply for Social Security Disability benefits?
The Social Security Administration will look at the following:
type of disability;
claimant’s medical records;
claimant’s work record;
claimants’ educational history;
claimant’s financial need (for SSI); and
Any other information that may be relevant to the claim.
How long does it take to receive a response from the Social Security Administration once a disability claim is filed?
It typically takes four to six months to receive an initial decision in a disability case but may take longer.
What if the disability claim is denied?
If the claimant maintains disability and has evidence to support a claim the next step is to file a request for reconsideration within 60 days of the denial date. If the claimant fails to appeal the initial decision within 60 days, the claimant must file a new application unless the claimant can show good cause for late filing.
How long does it take to receive a decision to the request for reconsideration, from the SSA?
It takes approximately four to six months to receive a response to the request for reconsideration.
How long does it typically take to receive a hearing date?
Waiting times can vary, on average, claimant’s expected wait time from 12 to 18 months from filing of a hearing request and receipt of scheduled hearing date. This is an average wait time and varies with SSA backlogs.
How long does it typically take to receive a decision after the administrative hearing?
It usually takes anywhere between 30 to 90 days. Again this is an average and can be shorter or longer.
What if the claim is denied at the hearing level?
The claimant has 60 days to file an appeal to the Appeals Council. The claimant must submit a request for review of the hearing decision to the Appeals Council based on an error of law or fact in the Judge’s decision.
What option does a claimant have if the request for reconsideration appeal is also denied?
Claimant can continue the appeals process by filing a request for hearing before an administrative law judge within 60 days of the denial. If a claimant fails to appeal the decision within 60 days, the claimant must file a new application unless the claimant can show good cause for untimely filing.
What are the benefits of attorney representation in a disability case?
The attorney possesses the experience and knowledge of the process to help navigate you through the frustrations, paperwork, and case preparation. They will assist with the completion and filing of appeals along with developing the theories of the claim, obtain supporting medical evidence, and submit all necessary documentation to the agency.
Does Social Security provide short-term or temporary disability benefits?
No. Social Security only provides benefits for medical conditions lasting for one year or more. SSA does not require you to be out of work for a year or more in order to apply for benefits. If your full-time work ended or you cannot sustain a full-time work schedule due to medical impairment you can apply immediately.
When does a disabled person become eligible for Medicare?
The disabled individual is considered Medicare eligible 24 months after the date of eligibility for Disability Insurance Benefit.
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