There are few things in life that are more frightening and nerve-wracking than no longer being able to work and support your family as you have in the past. Not only might you be suffering financially, but you could also be dealing with the side effects of your disability, which could result in both physical and emotional pain. Given your situation, you may choose to turn to the Social Security Administration (SSA) for help in getting disability benefits.
Making an SSDI claim in Alpharetta can be a frustrating process. You have to provide the SSA with a lot of information, your doctors have to provide medical documentation, and you have to remember numerous details about your work history and medical conditions. All told, the process for Alpharetta SSDI claims can seem never-ending, but an experienced SS disability attorney can help reduce your stress and take some of the procedural burdens off your shoulders.
Working Through the SSDI Claims Process
While individuals can file SSDI claims by telephone, online, or in person at a local SSA office, the process can be lengthy and complicated no matter which method they choose. According to the SSA’s online publication, “Disability Benefits,” applicants must provide the SSA with detailed information about past employment and past medical treatment that relates to their disability in order to qualify for SSDI.
All medical professionals who were involved in an individual’s medical care should provide records of treatment to the SSA upon request. Contacting and requesting information from these healthcare providers can be a particularly difficult component of the SSDI claims process, but a disability attorney in Alpharetta could be helpful in gathering necessary information and providing it to the SSA.
Where the Decision is Made
Once the SSA receives all the necessary information, SSDI applications go to a Georgia Disability Determination Services office that makes decisions on claims for SSDI benefits in the state. During this agency’s review process, doctors and disability specialists evaluate all claims according to SSA standards.
First, the SSA considers past earnings history and current records of earnings to see if applicants meet the earnings tests for SSDI benefits. If an individual meets the earnings tests, the SSA would then consider whether their medical conditions meet the SSA’s definition of disability. More specifically, the SSA would go through a five-step process in determining whether someone is disabled:
- Does the applicant currently work and earn enough each month to reach a maximum income limit that disqualifies them from SSDI benefits?
- Is the medical condition “severe”?
- Does the medical condition meet or medically equal one or more of the SSA impairment listings?
- Can the applicant do the work that they did prior to developing the medical condition?
- Can the applicant do any other type of work with the medical condition?
If the SSA needs more information with which to evaluate a medical condition, the administration also may require individuals to see other doctors or medical professionals to assess their medical conditions.
Receiving a Decision on an SSDI Claim
Once the state Disability Determination Services office makes a decision about a claim, they send a letter to the applicant regarding the results of their application. If the SSA approved SSDI benefits for the individual, the letter would state the amount of the SSDI benefits awarded and the date that the benefits would start. If the SSA does not approve SSDI benefits, the letter would explain the reasons why and what steps the applicant could take next if they do not agree with the decision.
Dedicated Attorneys Could Help with Alpharetta SSDI Claims
The Alpharetta SSDI claims process can be lengthy, complex, and frustrating, particularly when you are suffering from a debilitating medical condition. If you find yourself struggling with a disability and want to seek SSDI benefits, you may be best-served by getting in touch with a local lawyer to get the help that you need. Call our SSDI law firm today to schedule a consultation and get started on your case.