No one wants to deal with a scenario where they are required to file for social security disability. In the US and in the state of South Carolina, eligibility is guaranteed if an individual has been employed and had FICA taken out of their paychecks. That individual must also be insured and be able to prove the existence of a medical condition that prevents them from working to support themselves.
The Social Security Administration only entertains claims for full disability. Short-term and partial disability claims are denied upon receipt. For those claiming total disability, the following three conditions must be met:
- The career the individual had previously is no longer an option
- The medical condition prevents adjusting to another type of employment
- The medical condition will last longer than one year and will eventually be the direct cause of death for the individual.
The process typically is lengthy and has people down to the wire in terms of financial stability, encouraging the individual to file on their own behalf rather than retaining legal counsel. However, individuals who file for themselves in regard to social security disability tend to have the initial claim denied and are forced to appeal at least once in order to receive their benefits.
For people who work with an attorney who has handled social security disability cases previously, the chance of the initial claim being approved increases substantially. That is why it is a smart move to get in touch with a lawyer prior to that first attempt to file.
In the event you have already filed and have had the claim denied, there is no better time than now to get in touch with legal counsel. The lawyer can help adjust the way the claim is filed to present the issue clearly. There are times, for example, that the physician’s diagnosis is a hindrance rather than a help in the filing process. Meanwhile, it is also possible that the answer to questions on the initial paperwork was not answered in a clear manner, and this led to the claim denial.
What is the Next Step When an Initial Social Security Disability Claim is Denied?
The appeals process has four levels if the initial claim is denied: the first is reconsideration; the next is a hearing in front of a judge, the next is a review that takes place in front of an appeals court and the final step is a federal court review. Following each step, the lawyer that is working on the case will receive a letter detailing the decision made by the board. In the event that the case goes to a hearing, the lawyer is the best person to gather all pertinent medical history and present the information that makes the board fully aware of the individual’s limitations and related inability to work to support themselves.
What Does the State of South Carolina Say About Social Security Disability Benefits?
Individuals who are struggling with the process can visit resources like the Social Security Disability SSI Resource Center. This website reports that roughly one-quarter of the claims filed in South Carolina for disability get approved. This means three-quarters of the individuals who file for disability in the state have that initial claim denied.
There are two ways to file for disability in South Carolina: online or at the local social security office. It is important to note, however, that an SSI claim cannot be filed online. Therefore, for individuals who expect their disability and SSI to be concurrent, it is better to plan a trip to the local office to be able to file appropriately. It is also important to note that filing online must be done without the benefit of asking questions of an actual employee of the social security office. If there is anything confusing about the process or any aspects of the filing process, require clarification to be handled properly, a visit to the local office becomes necessary rather than an option.
The disability interview is the most important step to the filing process. This allows the individual who is unable to provide medical evidence of their conditions to support themselves. It is important to bring all documentation to this meeting, from the current information detailing disability to the initial documentation of the condition. This can help Social Security determine what back pay, if any, should be awarded to the individual who is filing. A complete work history of the 15 years prior to becoming disabled is also necessary. This allows Social Security to understand the requirements of the individual’s job and the limitations they currently face that require the decision to file for social security disability.
All of this and more is required to make sure the Social Security Administration can make an informed decision regarding the disability claim. For those who deal with diminished mental faculties, it is even more important to have a legal counsel for this process. That lawyer is an objective adult that can oversee the evidence gathering and keep track of any areas where information still needs to be attained to solidify the disability claim.
It is also important to note that there is a social security disability program and an SSI disability program. Those who do not meet the criteria for the first program (either because they are not insured or have lost status because they have not been able to work for an extended period of time) may qualify for the second program. Having legal counsel that can help with this type of information and direct the legal process can be the difference in receiving benefits more quickly or having the process drawn out for a long time and struggling to survive until the decision is made in the claimant’s favor.
Consult with a South Carolina Social Security Disability Attorney
Get in touch with J. Robert Surface, Attorney at Law by calling 864-300-4994 today. You will find the assistance you need to deal with issues related to social security disability or veterans’ disability once you make the call and arrange for a consultation.