Developing a debilitating medical condition or suffering an injury can be life-changing in a number of ways. You may no longer be able to work in your previous occupation, leaving you without a way to support yourself and your family. You may be in chronic pain and unable to perform some daily living activities. Above all, you may feel hopeless and unsure of where to turn first.
Fortunately, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits can help support you and other individuals who find themselves in this situation. SSDI benefits are available for individuals who have a sufficient earnings record and a severe disability according to standards set by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Qualifying for SSDI benefits is not always a quick and easy process, but an experienced Social Security disability lawyer may be able to make the Alpharetta SSDI application process easier for you in many ways.
How to Apply for SSDI
According to the SSA’s website, individuals can apply for SSDI by going into a local SSA office, calling the SSA, or completing an application online. However, there are limitations on who can apply for SSDI benefits online. More specifically, individuals applying online must:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Not currently receiving benefits on their own Social Security records
- Be unable to work due to a medical condition that is expected to last for 12 months or result in death
- Not have been denied disability benefits by the SSA within the last 60 days
Regardless of how Alpharetta residents complete their SSDI application process, they may need to provide the SSA with additional information, including the following:
- Birth certificate or other proof of birth
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if not born in the U.S.
- U.S. military discharge papers (if prior to 1968)
- All income tax returns and attachments for the prior year
- Any medical records already in their possession
- Documentation of any workers’ compensation or similar benefits received
If applying online, individuals can mail or personally deliver these documents to a local SSA office, but they should be sure to mark them with their Social Security number. Applicants in Alpharetta will receive confirmation of their SSDI applications from the SSA, and an SSA representative will contact them directly if any additional information is needed.
Next Steps in the SSDI Application Process
Individuals who are approved for SSDI will receive a letter with details about their SSDI benefits award. If an applicant is not approved for SSDI, they would receive a letter stating the reason for the denial and explaining how to appeal the decision.
If someone is denied SSDI, their best course of action is often to immediately contact a local disability representative for assistance with an appeal. It should also be noted that this is a time-sensitive process, as there are certain deadlines that applicants must meet in order to continue pursuing their claims through an appeal.
Appealing an SSDI Denial in Alpharetta
The SSA’s “Disability Benefits” publication, which can be found on their website, explains that the SSDI appeals process has several different stages. These include a request for reconsideration, a hearing before an administrative law judge, and the request for review by the Appeals Council.
Once those appeals are exhausted, applicants can further appeal denials of SSDI benefits to a U.S. District Court by filing a civil federal court action. A seasoned Social Security advocate for the disabled will provide legal assistance throughout the appeals process and work with applicants to develop a stronger claim for SSDI benefits.
Learn How an Alpharetta Attorney Could Help with the SSDI Application Process
While the events surrounding an SSDI application are rarely simple to manage, monthly financial benefits can assist you and your family financially as you learn to cope with your disabling medical condition. You worked hard throughout your life and earned the right to financial benefits when you need them most, and a disability claim attorney will assist you throughout the application process for SSDI benefits in Alpharetta, including the initial application and any resulting appeals.