If you are trying to receive benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, it is important to know how the entire process works or to seek the help of someone who does. Filing a claim can be an overwhelming and confusing process for unprepared or unrepresented claimants, and in Georgia, many applicants have their initial application denied. Fortunately, an experienced lawyer can advise you on each step of the SSDI application process in Marietta, from collecting the proper information and filling an initial claim to protecting your best interests through any necessary appeals. Contact a skilled SSDI attorney and schedule an appointment to start discussing your legal options with a professional.
Preparing to File for SSDI
Before filing your claim, you must gather the necessary information and materials in order to prepare a complete application. These materials may include tax records, employment history, prescription records, and any necessary medical history. The specifics of each SSDI application can quickly become confusing, however, and applicants in Marietta looking to file a thorough claim could benefit from working with a well-versed disability advocate.
The Application Process
Once you gather the necessary information, there are several ways to apply for SSDI in Marietta. Often, claimants elect to submit an application online through the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) website. Alternatively, they can apply via telephone or in person at a local Social Security office.
Once you file you application, the SSA examines whether you meet the technical requirements for benefits. If they do not, the application will receive a “technical denial.”
Applications in Marietta that pass this stage, however, are sent to the Georgia Disability Adjudication Services. This agency evaluates the applicant’s condition to determine whether they meet the medical and legal requirements for SSDI. Once GDAS makes an initial decision, it sends a Notice of Determination to the applicant.
Seeking Reconsideration of a Denied SSDI Application
If your SSDI application is initially denied, you have a right to have your case reconsidered. To do this, you need to file a formal “Request for Reconsideration” within 60 days of receiving the Notice of Determination on the initial claim.
Unfortunately, chances of success at this stage are not usually much better, since the claim simply goes back to the agency that initially denied it. Although a different examiner will review the case, they may reach the same conclusion as the initial examiner.
Fortunately, if the SSA further denies this Request for Reconsideration, you can appeal your case to a hearing. To do this, you must file their request for a hearing within 60 days of receiving their notice of reconsideration.
Unlike the previous review, this is a hearing that takes place before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). After this hearing, the ALJ will mail a written decision to you and your disability representative, usually 60-90 days after the hearing. This time varies greatly dependent upon any post-hearing activity or review.
Last Steps to Appeal an SSDI Application
If the ALJ makes an unfavorable decision and denies the claim, the next option is to file a request for review of the ALJ’s decision with the Social Security Appeals Council. As with the other steps, there is a 60-day deadline for filing this request.
If the Council once again denies the claim, the final option for review is to file a lawsuit in federal District Court. Such a lawsuit must be filed in the appropriate court within 60 days of receiving notice of the Appeals Council’s decision. Regardless of the factors involved in your case, you should consult with a knowledgeable Social Security attorney who understands the complicated nature of the SSDI application process in Marietta.
Ask an Attorney about the Marietta SSDI Application Process
If you are considering applying for benefits under SSDI, it is important to know each step of the application process. Because so many initial claims are denied, a strong and convincing case could make the difference between an accepted claim and a lengthy appeals process.
Seeking the aid of a seasoned advocate for the disabled can help you successfully file a claim. To learn more information about the SSDI application process in Marietta and how a dedicated attorney can help you through it, call today.