The Social Security Disability (SSD) program was set up by the government to provide benefits to individuals with disabilities in Loganville and throughout the United States. When you work, a portion of your paycheck goes to SSD, and if you become disabled and unable to work, you have a right to benefits from the program you’ve paid into. However, many people get denied when they apply and end up turning to a Loganville Social Security Disability lawyer for help.
There are strict requirements for SSD approval, and even if you qualify, it can be hard to prove to the Social Security Administration that you deserve benefits. That’s where John Foy & Associates can help. We have been assisting disabled workers with improving their Social Security applications and getting the benefits they need for over 20 years.
Call us (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get a FREE consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate lawyers today.
How the Social Security Application Process Works in Loganville
To seek SSD benefits, you will need to submit an application to the Social Security Administration (SSA), which is the agency that administers Social Security. There are a few ways you can do this:
- Through an online application on the SSA website
- By phone
- By mail
- Or by visiting your local Social Security office
Processing the Application
Most of the time, SSD applications are first processed at a local office or through one of the state-run Disability Determination Services (DDS). The local office will evaluate and confirm your non-medical personal information before sending your application off for further review. It’s at the DDS office where your medical condition and supporting information are examined. The DDS is responsible for making the first determination about whether or not you’re considered disabled.
The DDS will turn to the evidence you’ve provided in your application first. If they find that evidence is not enough to determine whether or not you’re disabled, they will set up a consultative examination (CE) to get more information. This usually means they will turn to your treating physician, but it could be an independent party.
If the DDS determines you are disabled, the SSA will calculate your benefits and you will begin receiving them. However, if you are not found to be disabled, your application will be kept at the local office until you appeal.
Disabling Conditions Recognized by the Social Security Administration
The SSA typically defines a disability as when:
- Your medical condition prevents you from working and is expected to last a year or more (or is terminal).
- You cannot continue doing the job you were working before you became disabled.
- You are unable to learn how to do other types of work besides what you were doing before you became disabled.
The SSA maintains a large Listing of Impairments that they have recognized as disabling conditions. Although having a condition on this list does not guarantee you will qualify for SSD, it means the SSA understands it can become severe enough to prevent you from working. This can increase your chances of getting approved for benefits.
The adult Listing of Impairments falls into 14 categories:
- Musculoskeletal System, including amputations, soft tissue injuries, and disorders of the spine
- Special Senses and Speech, including hearing loss and loss of speech
- Respiratory Disorders, including asthma, cystic fibrosis, and chronic pulmonary hypertension
- Cardiovascular System, including chronic heart failure and heart transplants
- Digestive System, including chronic liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and liver transplants
- Genitourinary Disorders, including chronic kidney disease and nephrotic syndrome
- Hematological Disorders, including disorders of bone marrow failure and hemolytic anemias
- Skin Disorders, including dermatitis, burns, and hidradenitis suppurativa
- Endocrine Disorders, including pituitary gland disorders and thyroid gland disorders
- Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems like non-mosiac Down syndrome
- Neurological Disorders, including epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis
- Mental Disorders, including depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder
- Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases), including those of the soft tissues, leukemia, and lymphoma
- Immune System Disorders, including inflammatory arthritis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection
If you are unsure whether your condition is on the list or you don’t see it on the list, don’t assume it doesn’t qualify. If your medical condition is not listed, the SSA will compare it to a similar condition when evaluating whether or not it disables you from working.
How to Appeal a Social Security Disability Application
The denial rate for first-time applications for SSD is very high, so don’t get discouraged if you get a denial. The best first step after a denial is to contact a Loganville Social Security Disability lawyer. They can help you through the appeal process and ensure your application is as strong as possible.
If your application is denied because of your medical evidence, you will need to complete an Appeal Request and Appeal Disability Report on the SSA website. This is the most common reason for getting a denial.
However, applications are sometimes also denied for non-medical reasons. If this happens to you, you’ll need to contact your local Social Security office to discuss the reasoning for the denial. Either way, the timeline for an appeal includes a:
- Request for Reconsideration where a new person at a DDS location will review the application
- Hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ) if your Request for Reconsideration is denied
- Review with the Appeals Council if the ALJ denies your claim
- Federal Court Review, which is the last appeal level where your case goes before a federal judge
It’s vital that you complete each step and don’t miss any deadlines during your appeal. This is why it’s such a good idea to work with an experienced lawyer who understands the SSD application and appeal process. They can give you the best chance of getting your application accepted.
Talk to a Social Security Disability (SSD) Lawyer in Loganville, GA for Free
At John Foy & Associates, we can help you build a strong Social Security Disability application, whether it’s your first application or you need to appeal a denial. We understand what the SSA is looking for in an application before they will award benefits. Let us help you, starting with a FREE consultation.
To schedule your FREE consultation, call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get started today.