The Social Security Disability program was created to provide assistance to individuals who need money to live due to a disability. Unfortunately, getting benefits is not always a simple or fast process. Most people must hire a lawyer to file an appeal after their claim is denied. Statistically, only about 36 percent of disability claims are approved at the initial level, and more than half (64%) of claims are initially denied.
If you experience a disabling condition that prevents you from working, you may apply for Social Security Disability. You can apply as soon as you become disabled, so long as your disability is expected to last twelve months or longer, and you can no longer perform substantial gainful work activity. Filing for benefits can be a long and tedious process, so it is strongly recommended that you file your application sooner rather than later. If your claim is denied, a Social Security disability lawyer can help you.
The attorneys at Geiser, Bowman & McLafferty and our co-counsel, Carley Kranstuber, understand the appeal process and the typical reasons why applications are denied. Our goal is to help our clients and provide guidance in their effort to get approved for Social Security Disability (SSD). Contact us and let our experienced attorneys help you through this lengthy and frustrating process.
Frequently asked Social Security Questions
How do I apply for Social Security disability benefits?
There are several ways to start an application for disability benefits. You may go to your nearest Social Security office to apply in person, you may contact your Social Security office to schedule a telephone interview by calling 1-800-772-1213, or you may visit Social Security’s website at www.ssa.gov and apply online.
How does Social Security determine if I am disabled?
Social Security will gather your medical records and carefully consider all of your health problems, as well as your age, education, and work experience. In general, Social Security will determine whether you are able to do your past work. If they decide you are unable to perform your past work, they must consider whether there is any other work you are able to do. When a decision is reached, you should receive a letter letting you know if your claim has been approved or denied.
How long do I have to wait after becoming disabled before I can file for Social Security Disability Benefits?
You can file for Social Security disability benefits on the very same day that you become disabled. There is no reason to file a Social Security disability claim if one has only a minor illness or one that is unlikely to last a year or more. However, an individual who suffers from a serious illness or injury and expects to be out of work for a year or more should not delay in filing a claim for Social Security disability benefits.
How long does it take to get a hearing on a Social Security disability claim?
Wait times for a hearing to be scheduled vary depending on what part of the country in which you live. In 2019, the average wait time from the date you request your hearing until that hearing takes place is over a year:
- Columbus – 19 months
- Cleveland – 13 months
- Cincinnati – 18 months.
Long wait times are due to the large number of claims the hearings office is processing, which has created a large backlog.
What is the hearing like?
The hearings are fairly informal. Most likely, the only people in the hearing room will be the Administrative Law Judge assigned to your case, a hearing assistant who will record the hearing, you, and your attorney. The Judge may ask a medical doctor or vocational expert to testify at the hearing.
If I am approved for Social Security disability benefits, how much will I get?
The amount of your Social Security Disability benefits depends on how much you have worked and earned in the past. For Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, there is a base amount that an individual with no other income receives. Other income that an individual receives will reduce the amount of SSI that person can receive.
How will my attorney get paid?
The Social Security Administration regulates the amount of fees an attorney can charge. Typically, the amount of the attorney fee is one-quarter (25%) of your past-due benefit amount, or $6,000.00, whichever is less. As part of a contingency fee agreement, your lawyer will collect an attorney fee only if they are successful with your case.
You might be entitled to Social Security Disability, even if you have already been denied. Contact GBM law today at at (614) 222-4444 or fill out a case evaluation form.