Social Security Disability benefits are meant to help those who are injured or ill and unable to work. The program gives you a chance to receive payments so your bills do not pile up, but successfully filing a claim can be extremely difficult without help.
At the Law Offices of Calbom & Schwab, we are dedicated to helping you overcome common mistakes that can cost you valuable assistance. When you work with a Pasco & Tri-Cities Social Security Disability attorney from our team, you can take advantage of the six decades’ worth of experience we provide our clients. Do not face the frustration alone when you can contact us to increase your chances of approval.
Successful Social Security Disability Claims Are Rare
Although the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program does help people when they are disabled and cannot work, it is incredibly hard to get a claim approved without assistance. As many as 67% of all claims are denied for issues such as paperwork errors, incomplete applications, or missing documentation.
Other reasons why you may be denied include:
- Your doctor thinks your impairment will last less than 12 months.
- Your condition is not considered severe.
- You can do your regular work, light-duty, or an alternative job at your company.
- You are impaired due to a drug addiction or alcoholism.
- You do not follow your doctor’s orders for treatment.
- You are able to go back to normal or near-normal work performance before your disability claim is established.
It is critical to know whether any of these conditions applies to your situation. If you are temporarily unable to work, you are more likely to qualify for workers’ compensation insurance benefits rather than SSDI payments. To be sure whether you qualify for SSDI benefits and to understand other options you may have, you should speak with a skilled Social Security Disability attorney in Pasco & Tri-Cities.
Social Security Disability Claims Can Take Months to Complete
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has tried to make the application process easy by offering online, telephone, and in-person options for filing your claim. However, when you are sick or in pain from an injury, trying to concentrate on multiple forms and requirements can be overwhelming. This is where a qualified SSDI attorney can make the difference.
You should begin your application as soon as possible after you are disabled. Even after you successfully complete the forms, you must wait an average of 6-12 months for a disability hearing. At the hearing, an Administrative Law Judge will ask you about your disability, your pain, and how your life is affected.
Once the hearing is over, there is another 2-3 month wait before you are given a decision. Facing the delays and hearings on your own can add more stress to your life, making it harder to heal. With the help of a compassionate and dedicated Pasco & Tri-Cities Social Security Disability lawyer from Calbom & Schwab, you will always have someone in your corner.
Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits in Pasco & Tri-Cities
To be eligible for SSDI benefits, you must have worked jobs that are covered by Social Security. You must have earned enough credits to qualify for disability benefits, which is usually up to four credits per year, accumulated over the course of your work history.
Your disability must be covered by the SSA under their list of impairments. Once your doctor has certified that you have one of these conditions, you will need to gather documentation to prove all of the following:
- You cannot engage in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) because of your condition.
- You are unable to return to your previous work or do another job due to your disability.
- You have been disabled for at least 12 months, or you expect to be disabled for over 12 months.
You may also qualify if your condition is considered terminal. Your family can apply for death benefits if you pass away from a proven disability. Payments can be made to widows, widowers, and eligible dependents of the disabled worker.
Filing an Appeal if Your Social Security Disability Claim Is Denied
Working with a lawyer who specializes in SSDI claims can significantly increase your chance of approval because you have an expert on your side. However, if your claim is denied, you can file an appeal within 60 days. It is crucial that you begin the appeal immediately, because if you wait too long or start a new claim, you will be put at the back of the line.
Your Social Security Disability lawyer in Pasco & Tri-Cities will help you gather any new information supporting your claim and assist you with your appeal. There are four levels of appeal and most can be completed online, by phone, or at your local SSA office. The levels are:
- Reconsideration: Whether your claim is denied for medical or non-medical reasons, you can ask that someone else take a look at it. This will be someone who was not part of the original review.
- Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing: If you are still denied, you can move to a hearing by an ALJ who was not part of the first review or reconsideration. This can take many months as ALJs are conducting hundreds of these hearings.
- Review by the Appeals Council: The next step is to ask the SSA’s Appeals Council to examine your claim. You are not guaranteed a review. If they take your request, they can approve your claim, deny it, or push you back to a previous level of appeal.
- Federal Court review: This is a civil action filed by your Social Security Disability lawyer to request that a Federal district court examine your claim.
Starting your claim with the guidance of an experienced legal team is the best way to avoid a denial of benefits. However, it is also the best way to fight against any problems that come up during your claim process.
Hire a Pasco & Tri-Cities Social Security Disability Attorney Today
Although it can be frustrating and confusing, you should not wait to file for SSDI benefits. You could miss out on the financial help you deserve as a hard-working citizen. Calbom & Schwab are ready to help you navigate the system so you can keep paying your bills until you can return to your job.
Hire a Pasco & Tri-Cities Social Security Disability attorney from our firm today to file or appeal your claim. We will work tirelessly for you, starting with a free initial consultation with no risk and no obligation.
Contact us today to schedule a meeting.