In Greenville, South Carolina, social security disability benefits are available to individuals who have no or limited ability to work due to physical or mental disabilities through two programs of the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). These programs are Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
Out of the approximately 9 million U.S. SSDI beneficiaries and 8 million SSI beneficiaries, 35.2% based their application on mental health conditions. However, the process of applying and having one’s application for social security disability benefits in Greenville is anything but simple or short. To make it easier, many applicants choose to hire a Greenville social security disability attorney. Here is why:
The Challenges of Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits in Greenville, SC
Many applicants are under the wrong impression that all they have to do in order to receive social security disability benefits is to file a claim documenting their disability, attend a medical evaluation, and receive the answer to their claim. They expect to solve everything in a couple of months, but the waiting period is much longer and, unfortunately, often ends with a negative answer.
Nationwide, the period for reviewing social security disability claims revolves around half a year or more. In South Carolina, it comes close to 1 year. According to the Disability Benefits Center, the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review takes 349 days on average only to schedule a hearing. As if this were not enough, the claim filing and review process is quite complex and challenging. Here is a brief overview of the main steps:
- Filing the Claim for social security disability benefits in Greenville – This step involves filling out form SSA-3368 no matter of how many conditions the applicant suffers, or whether they are physical or mental. Needless to say, the claim should include supporting documents. To make sure they fill in the form correctly and they include all the necessary documents, many applicants prefer to hire a Greenville social security disability attorney.
- Claim verification – A disability examiner will be in charge of this step and the next. In order to complete it, the examiner will send letters requesting medical evidence of record to all treatment providers in the claim, and any other providers that may appear in the applicant’s medical records.
- Claim evaluation – The disability examiner will evaluate all treatment records in order to determine whether the applicant has any functional limitations that make one unable to work and eligible for social security benefits. If the examiners discover any loose ends or incomplete information, they can send letters to the applicants asking them for clarifications, missing documents, or further evidence.
- The disability hearing – It takes place in front of the Administrative Law Judge and its purpose is to confirm the information in the disability claim, clarify any aspects the examiner may consider confusing, and determine the following:
- One’s ability to understand, remember, and perform simple tasks according to instructions
- One’s ability to make simple work-related decisions and recognize workplace dangers and hazards
- One’s capacity to respond adequately in various work situations and to interact with work supervisors and colleagues
- One’s adaptability and reactions to workplace changes
- The answer to the disability claim – It usually arrives within 2-3 months from the disability hearing. Unfortunately, as if the overall waiting time ranging between 1 and 2 years were not enough, most of the claims for social security disability benefits in Greenville, South Carolina receive negative answers.
Although applicants have the right to appeal denied claims, the waiting time for appeal hearings is even longer than the one for preliminary hearings. This would mean applicants may have to wait up to four years in order to start receiving their Greenville social security disability benefits. Their best chance of improving their odds and avoiding an appeal is to hire an attorney.
The Importance of Working with a Greenville Social Security Disability Attorney
Social security disability claims based on mental illnesses are more difficult to prove. The attorney will take over the claim process, from filling in the above-mentioned form to gathering the support documents and filing them.
The attorney will also help the applicant prepare for the hearing in front of the administrative law judge, and provide assistance throughout the hearing. With an attorney on one’s side, proving mental disability is much easier. In fact, statistics show that claims filed with the help of an attorney are more likely to receive a positive verdict than claims applicants file on their own.
Do you want to know if you are eligible for social security disability benefits and receive help with your claim if you are? Hire an experienced Greenville social security disability attorney like J. Robert Surface, and you’ll receive all the answers and help you need. Call (864) 300-4994 of use the contact form and schedule a free consultation now!