Social Security Disability

Building a Social Security Disability Claim when you can no longer work.

If physical and/or mental impairments prevent you from maintaining gainful employment, then you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Social Security has two programs: Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The SSDI program pays benefits to you and certain family members if you are insured. You become insured if you worked long enough and recently enough and paid Social Security taxes on your earnings. The SSI program pays benefits to adults and children with disabilities who have limited income and resources and do not meet the work requirements. The medical requirements are the same for both SSDI and SSI. If a claimant meets the non-medical and medical requirement, monthly benefits are paid if you have a medical condition expected to last at least one year or result in death. 

To begin a disability claim, you can file an initial application online, over the phone, or in person at your local social security office. The processing time for the initial application is 3-6 months for a decision. If you are denied, the first appeal is the Request for Reconsideration, which can also take 3-6 months for a decision. If your Request for Reconsideration is denied, the next appeal is the Request for Hearing. At this stage, an Administrative Law Judge will review your medical records, take your testimony, and take the testimony of a vocational expert before rendering a decision on your claim. The hearings are generally held within 6-8 months of your request, and the Administrative Law Judge will generally take your claim under consideration after the hearing before coming to a decision. 

Hiring an experienced attorney like Candice Dixon will help you navigate the application process and represent you at your hearing if that becomes necessary. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.