What do you do when you make a legitimate claim but your Social Security disability claim is denied? You know you can’t work, but how do you begin to explain that to the Social Security Administration—especially while you’re feeling so poorly?
If your Social Security disability claim has been denied, you are not alone. Our Greenville lawyers understand how discouraging it can be to be denied a claim when you’re already feeling down, and we’re here to help. Contact us today at (864) 343-2222 to speak with us about your legal options.
Generally speaking, only individuals who meet the Social Security Administration’s stringent criteria for disability are eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits.
To be considered disabled by the SSA, you must be unable to engage in any “substantial gainful activity” because of a medically determinable mental or physical impairment. The impairment must be expected to last for at least 12 continuous months or result in death.
The SSA will also consider your work capacity or your “residual functional capacity.” This takes into account factors such as your age, education, and work history to determine if you can perform any type of job.
If you are out of work due to an unexpected accident or illness, you may be entitled to Social Security benefits, especially if you have one of the following conditions:
Most of the above-listed conditions are included in the SSA’s Listing of Impairments. This is a description of medical conditions that are accepted by the SSA as severe enough to keep a person from working. Keep in mind that a diagnosis of any of these conditions is not a guarantee for disability benefits; the SSA will still evaluate how the condition affects your ability to work.
As part of its evaluation of your work capacity, the SSA will determine whether your condition prevents you from being able to do your previous work. This will involve an analysis of the physical and mental demands of the relevant work you’ve performed in the past and whether you’re still able to fulfill those requirements.
The key to a successful Social Security disability claim is thorough, accurate medical evidence. The more detailed your medical records are, the easier it will be to prove that you meet the SSA’s definition of disability. This is why we recommend keeping detailed notes of every medical appointment, treatment, and prescribed medication.
There are two main disability benefits programs offered by the SSA: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). While both programs offer financial assistance to Americans with disabilities, each has a different set of qualifications.
SSDI is an insurance program that is funded through payroll taxes. It’s designed to support individuals who have worked in the past and sufficiently paid into the system but are now unable to work due to an illness or injury. SSI, on the other hand, is a need-based program that provides assistance to people with disabilities and seniors who have limited income and resources.
The most convenient way to apply for SSA disability benefits is to complete your application online through the SSA’s website. You may also apply in person at your local Social Security office after calling and making an appointment.
The application will ask for a variety of information about you, your medical history, and your work history. Be prepared to provide details about your current and past medical providers, any medications you’re currently taking, and the type of work you’ve done in the past. You’ll also need to provide proof of your age, relevant medical records, laboratory and test results, and your most recent W-2 form.
Once the SSA receives your completed application, it will evaluate your eligibility for Social Security Disability based on work-related factors. If you meet the SSDI work criteria, the SSA will forward your application to Disability Determination Services, which will determine your medical eligibility and inform the SSA of its decision. The SSA will then notify you in writing of its decision about your claim.
Hope is not lost if your claim for Social Security disability benefits is denied. You have the right to appeal a denial, and there are several steps you can take to increase your chances of success.
The Social Security Administration must provide a written explanation of why your claim was denied. Carefully review the letter to see if any of the reasons listed can be addressed by submitting additional evidence or information.
You must file your appeal within 60 days of receiving the initial letter of denial from the SSA. This is generally considered to be five days after the date on the letter. Don’t wait until the last minute to request an appeal; you’ll need time to gather all of the necessary evidence before filing.
It may be beneficial to consult with an attorney if you plan to appeal a denial. A Social Security disability attorney in Greenville, SC can help you determine if an appeal is the best course of action for you and, if so, guide you through the process.
If you decide to move forward with an appeal, you or your attorney will need to submit a written request for reconsideration within the above-mentioned deadline. You can do this online using the SSA’s Appeal a Decision page or through mail or fax using the Request for Reconsideration form.
After you submit your request, the SSA will review it and send a notice of the reconsideration determination. If you disagree with the SSA’s decision, you can request a hearing online or send a completed Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge to your local Social Security office. While you wait for your hearing, you should work with your Social Security disability attorney in Greenville, SC to gather and submit all of the necessary evidence to support your case.
At the hearing, a judge will review the evidence and arguments presented by both you and the SSA. They may also listen to witness testimony. The judge will then decide whether or not to grant your claim.
By taking the right steps from the beginning, you can increase your chances of receiving Social Security disability benefits. Be sure to avoid the following common mistakes when applying for benefits.
The SSA requires thorough and accurate medical documentation to prove that you meet the definition of disability. Make sure you are keeping detailed notes of all medical appointments and treatments, and that your medical records are up to date.
Make sure that you fill out the application completely and accurately. Any errors or omissions could result in a delay or denial of your claim. It’s best to have a knowledgeable professional review your application before you submit it.
It’s important to adhere to all deadlines when applying for Social Security Disability. This includes filing appeals within the allotted timeframe and providing updated documentation as requested by the SSA.
Any gaps or inconsistencies in your medical treatment could delay the approval of your claim. Failure to attend scheduled doctor’s appointments or follow through with prescribed treatments can suggest to the SSA that your condition is not serious enough to warrant disability benefits.
If you’re applying for SSDI, you must have worked a certain number of years to qualify. Make sure that all of your work history is properly documented on your application. If you are still unable to qualify for SSDI, you may want to consider applying for SSI.
An appeal is your last chance to have your claim approved. Make sure that you are prepared for the hearing by gathering all relevant evidence and facts and submitting them within the SSA’s deadlines.
It pays to have a dedicated legal advocate on your side. Attempting to navigate the Social Security disability process without an attorney can greatly reduce your chances of approval.
Although the SSA doesn’t require you to have an attorney to apply for Social Security disability benefits, you’re at a significant disadvantage without one. When you apply for Social Security disability benefits, you’re just one person in a long line of claimants.
The majority of disability claims are initially denied, and it takes a keen legal eye to develop a claim that meets the SSA’s rigid criteria. Having an experienced Greenville social security disability attorney in your corner can help you cut through the red tape and ensure that your claim is given due consideration.
The cost of our legal services varies depending on the amount of time and resources necessary to reach a successful outcome. However, one thing is certain at our firm: you pay no fees unless your claim is granted with back benefits. Because our fees are taken from the back benefits you receive, you won’t need to worry about legal fees; you can focus on getting the benefits you need.
We have many years of experience handling Social Security Disability Claims (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cases. Our personal injury lawyers in Greenville, SC have been serving the community for more than 40 years. Using our extensive expertise, individualized approach, compassion, and results-driven attitude, we deliver results that bring meaningful change to our client’s lives.
If we can get you the benefits you deserve, we’ll take your case. We’ll help you understand your rights, walk you through the process, and help you obtain everything you need to submit the best possible claim.
If your case requires a hearing, the Social Security attorney that understands your case the best will personally go with you to ensure you have the professional representation you deserve.
Grady Jordan of Smith Jordan Attorneys at Law is experienced in Social Security Disability Law and Workers’ Compensation Law. Below are a few frequently asked questions. Contact (864) 343-2222 today.