If you suffer from a disability that keeps you from working, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. There are two reports that must be completed in order to apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits: the Benefits Application and the Disability Report. Since only two reports are required, filling them out may seem quick and simple.
However, obtaining the documentation to support your claim can take a lot of time and research, and if you’re unfamiliar with the process, it’s easy to make mistakes. If you need help with your disability claim, a Pittsburgh Social Security Disability application process lawyer with Berger and Green will guide you so that you can secure the benefits you need.
Knowing Which Social Security Disability Program to Apply for
Social Security Disability covers two programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The one you can seek benefits for depends on your circumstances, but it is possible to qualify for both.
SSDI is for those who suffer from a disability – physical or mental – that is listed in the Social Security Administration Blue Book. It is a system based on work credits. In most cases, once you have 20 credits, you can apply for the program.
SSI, on the other hand, is geared towards people over 65 with limited income and resources.
What Evidence You Need to Apply
In addition to the forms you need to complete, you must have other documentation to supplement your claims, including:
- Your Social Security Number
- Names of doctors, other healthcare providers, and hospitals where you have been treated in the past 10 years
- Medications you are currently taking and who prescribed them
- Your work history
- Copies of documents to verify this information, including medical records, birth certificates, and W-2s
For a free legal consultation with a ssd application process lawyer serving Pittsburgh, call 412-661-1400
How Our Social Security Disability Attorneys Can Help You with the Application Process in Pittsburgh
Getting together all the appropriate paperwork and making sure it’s filled out correctly can be tedious. Instead, have one of our lawyers look at your application to ensure your claim is ready for submission. In doing so, they can:
- Help you decide which SSD program to apply for
- Review the evidence and paperwork before submission to make sure everything is complete and correct
Waiting for Your Decision
After the application is filed, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will review your information to see if you are eligible based on some basic rules. If you are determined to be technically eligible, your application will be forwarded to your state’s Disability Determination Services office.
It is at this office that all the facts of your case will be taken into consideration. Medical records from your doctors and hospitals will be ordered and examined. They will also ask your doctors for their opinion on your ability to work.
The SSA may ask you to visit another doctor to help independently verify some of the information about your ability to work. It is important to go to this appointment if it is requested.
If Your Application Is Approved for Benefits
Once the Disability Determination Services office has gathered all the information necessary or available, they will make a decision regarding your disability claim. They will send you a letter stating whether you have received a fully favorable decision, partially favorable decision, or a denial.
If you have been approved, the letter will tell you what benefits they have determined you to be eligible for, how much you will receive, and when you should expect to begin receiving it.
If Your Application Has Been Denied
If you have been denied, the letter will tell you why you were denied and explain how to appeal the decision. Filing an appeal is important to protect the benefits you deserve, and you can rely on our Social Security Disability lawyers to represent you throughout the appeals process. According to the SSA, it generally comprises:
- Reconsideration: After receiving your notice of denial, you have 60 days to file for reconsideration.
- Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ): If you disagree with the turnout of the reconsideration, you can request a hearing with an ALJ. This hearing can be via a video conference, the phone, or in person.
- Appeals Council Review: The Appeals Council can offer you benefits at this stage or return your claim to the ALJ.
- Federal Court Review: You can submit a civil lawsuit in a federal district court if the Appeals Council refuses to hear your case or denies it.
If the SSA approves you for benefits, it can take a few months for them to start paying you the benefits. Don’t worry about this gap, as backpay will reimburse you for the months they missed.
Pittsburgh SSD Application Process Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
What Former Clients Have to Say About Their Experience with Our SSD Attorneys
It is our job to get you the Social Security Disability benefits you need while making the claims process as smooth as possible for you. We aim to use this approach with all our SSD clients. Check out what some of them said about it:
- “Working with them, I could say was excellent… I never had to come down to Pittsburgh, with my medical condition it would have been very difficult to make a trip. I live approximately 50 miles away… All along the way I was well-informed.” – Lyman
- “I couldn’t have done this alone. I was mentally, physically unable to deal with all this. They here at Berger and Green removed all the stress, all the anxiety off of my shoulders and the burden. Taking the paperwork, taking my copays and addressing everything.” – Ron
Our team is standing by now to see how we can be of assistance to you during the application process.
Turn to Berger and Green for Help with the SSD Application Process in Allegheny County
If you have questions about your application, or even whether you are eligible, contact Berger and Green today for a free consultation. Our attorneys can help you through the Social Security Disability benefits process, and they will discuss how best to move forward with your case.
There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we recover benefits in your case. Call us today at (412) 661-1400.