Social Security Disability (SSD) is a federal program designed years ago to protect every person—including those living in Suwanee—from suffering financially due to a disability that may prevent them from working. Although SSD still exists, the program often fails to do its job well enough today. As a result, those with disabilities have to deal with their benefits being denied. If you’re living with a disability and struggling to get the benefits you deserve, a Suwanee Social Security Disability lawyer can help.
At John Foy & Associates, we’re compassionate advocates for individuals who believe they may quality for SSD benefits but get shut out of the system. With our 20+ years of experience in this business, we can provide the knowledge and background to help. Whether it’s your first time applying or you’re at your final appeal, we can start where you are and assist you in the process. And we’ll give you a risk-free FREE consultation to discuss your SSD case. Call us at 404-400-4000 or complete the form to the right to set up your free consultation call.
What is Social Security Disability?
SSD is available to employees who have compiled a certain number of “working credits” during their time of employment. Most people meet these working credits if they’ve worked much at all over the past 10 years. Typically, only those over the age of 18 can apply for SSD benefits. However, the recipient’s husband, wife, or children may also potentially get part of the benefits.
(If someone with a disability hasn’t worked, they may qualify for another similar program provided by the SSA called Supplemental Security Income, or SSI.)
How does Social Security Disability work in Suwanee?
To quality for the SSD program in Suwanee, the personal applying for it must be deemed disabled:
- Under the law, a “disability” means the applicant must have a physical, mental, or psychological condition that prevents them from taking part in “substantial gainful activity,” or SGA. This means they must be unable to work and earn a specific income through employment.
- More specifically, the applicant’s condition must have prevented them from SGA for at least one year.
- If the person’s condition is likely to result in their death, they may also quality for SSD.
Once a social security disability application is submitted, the SSA will forward that claim to Georgia’s Disability Adjudication Services (DAS). The application will be assigned to a disability claims examiner at the agency. The examiner will look at medical records and other information about the applicant’s treatment for their condition, as well as employment history, as documented in their application. They may also consider certain questions like:
- Is the applicant’s condition an official disability?
- Is it severe?
- Is the applicant currently employed?
- Are they able to participate in any type of substantial gainful employment?
The examiner then uses all the information to decide whether or not the applicant qualifies for SSD. Most of the time, if the applicant has been deemed fully disabled after evaluation of the paperwork, they will be given “benefit receipt” status and the paperwork will be sent back to the SSA to be processed.
Certain conditions, such as terminal cancer, are automatically considered a disability. In that case, the applicant is able to apply to a fast-tracking program that ensures they receives benefits as soon as possible.
What if my application was denied?
When an application for SSD is denied, there are four different levels of appeals. You can:
- Request a reconsideration from SSA reviewers, or
- File for a hearing
Both of these options are promising and offer a good chance of chance of approval. However, this is only if you can pinpoint what was wrong and make necessary changes in the initial application before the appeal.
The third and fourth options, which are less likely to get you results, are to:
- Request a review from SSA’s Appeals Council, which is not guaranteed
- Sue the SSA in federal court, which is complicated and pricey
If your appeal is denied, you’ll need to wait and re-file a completely new application. This can add months to the process—and we can often prevent it from ever being necessary. This is why having a lawyer on your side can help you through the process if you’ve been denied before.
As long as you’re receiving medical treatment for your condition and you’re not participating in substantial gainful activity, it’s important to never stop pursuing your claim. Many times, being persistent in appealing your case will eventually get you results. If a judge has denied you at a court hearing, you can file a new application while also appealing that denial to the Appeals Court.
If you’ve been continually trying for SSD, it can be very frustrating and you might feel like giving up. But hope is not lost! A Social Security Disability lawyer can help.
Does having a lawyer really make a difference?
Yes. Applying for SSD, is a time-consuming and very complex process. Since you want to start your paperwork as soon as you’re unable to work or become disabled, having an attorney on your side is very helpful.
In addition, your application should contain extremely detailed evidence of your physical or mental disability. This includes all doctor’s examinations and notes, blood work, CT scans or MRIs, health records, medical tests, and more. All evidence must be recent examinations so the documentation is up to date. The goal is to document exactly how your condition keeps you from fulfilling substantial gainful employment.
Unfortunately, many disability cases are initially denied and it can take between 30 days and two years for you to finally receive benefits, so it’s important to provide as much relevant information as possible in your application. Working with a lawyer can help ensure your application has all the important medical evidence to give you the best shot at approval for benefits and avoid the appeals process.
Talk to a Suwanee Social Security Disability Lawyer for Free
John Foy & Associates understands how overwhelming the Social Security Disability application and appeals process can be. We bring over two decades of experience, along with compassion and empathy, to the table for winning SSD cases. We’d love to give you a FREE consultation to discuss your case and get you moving forward. Call us today at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to the right to set up your free consultation.