Every year thousands of people claim disability benefits in South Carolina. Unfortunately, it is not as easy and simple as one would imagine. All applications concernigna claim for disability are submitted to the Social Security Office that is closest to you.
What is the process for submitting a claim?
Your application must be submitted to Social Security Disability Resources. It is important to ensure that all the
necessary documentation is included in your application. The documentation includes medical records, medical and psychological evidence, continuing disability review and a statement by the applicant.
There are three different ways in which you can submit a claim. You can visit the SSA (Social Security Administration) offices and file your claim in person. If you are unable to visit the office in person you can submit your claim via the website or by telephone.
After you have filed the application, you must then do an application interview. This interview can be seen as the start of the process. Disabled adults and children must be present when the interview is conducted. During this interview, all relevant medical information must be presented. During the interview, a list of medical treatments must be presented. Keep in mind that the information must go back right up to the point where the disability first “started” or diagnosed. The reason for this is that the administration needs to verify whether the person is still disabled. The start of the disability is used to determine back pay if there is any owed. Remember to take as much information as possible to this interview. The information must include contact information for all doctors, hospitals and other medical personnel where treatment was received. Ensure that all the contact information is up to date as the examiner will use this information to obtain medical records and other medical information.
Adults must submit a detailed work history of at least 15years prior to becoming disabled. All the information supplied must be as accurate and detailed as possible. This will allow the examiner to determine the previous jobs that the claimant held as well as the skill level that the claimant possesses. It is important to include job titles as well as all duties.
It is a good idea to write down your entire job history as well as all medical treatments that were received before the disability occurred. This will ensure that the examiner gets the entire picture and not just the information for what happened after the injury or illness.
After the claim was submitted to the social security office it will be transferred to the state disability agency or the disability determination services. The examiner will use all the information supplied to determine the value and validity of the claim.
The examiner determines two main elements of the claim. The first is to determine whether the claimant’s illness or injury falls within the definition of disability as set out by the state’s law. In the impairment manual or the blue book are a list of a set of disabilities and illnesses. If your injury or illness falls outside the scope of the blue book, the examiner will go through your medical records to determine whether you are entitled to any benefits.
The other element that the examiner will determine is what the extension is the limitations that the claimant faces. Both elements will be taken into consideration when the amount or validity of the claim is determined.
What happens if my claim is denied?
It is important to notice that the initial process can take up to four months to complete. After this initial process, there is a 70% chance that your claim will be denied. This will result in an even longer process, and can take up to two years to finalize.
Your first step that you can take after your claim is denied is called a Request for Reconsideration. During this process, about 80% of claims are denied again. Unfortunately, this happens regularly, and for you to be able to get the benefit you are entitled to, you must appear before an Administration Law Judge.
Keep in mind that in South Carolina, you must wait 338 days for the hearing to be scheduled. It will take anything between 341 and 481 days to get a hearing date. After your hearing, it will take up to three months to hear whether the judge decided in your favor or not.
When do I need to call my lawyer?
The moment that you realize you need to claim disability, is the moment you need to call your lawyer. Most lawyers take on these cases on a contingency basis, which means that you do not pay them for their services. Their bill is settled only when you receive a settlement and is capped at 25% of the settlement amount to a maximum of $6000. This system ensures that you get the proper legal representation that you are entitled to because if you do not get a settlement, then the lawyer does not get paid.
Research has shown that applicants who retain legal advice have an increased chance of getting a settlement in their favor. The reason for this is that the lawyers ensure that all paperwork is done correctly. They also ensure that all details and information that you supply is extensive and correct. During the initial interview, your lawyer will be able to represent your best interests.
Lawyers are very clued up with the process. You might think that filling out a form is just plain and simple, but it just not stays with forms. If you are one of the unlucky ones that will need to appear before a judge, the legal process can be intimidating. If you feel intimidated then it might impact your case negatively. Looking at the statistics of only 30% applicants being successful on their first try and only 20% being successful on their appeal, it is a really good idea to get someone, like your lawyer to help you with the process. When you are injured and permanently disabled, your whole world has turned upside down, you do not need to wait to two years to get the benefits that you are entitled to.