Before you apply for Social Security disability benefits under the SSDI or SSI programs, it is important to understand how the process works. The application process is often long and quite daunting, which is why it is best to consult a Social Security lawyer before you file the application.
With the help of a good lawyer, you can avoid the common mistakes which prolong the Social Security disability benefits application process or lead to an initial rejection. Understanding the application and determination process can also save you from unnecessary delays in your application’s processing. Here is a look at this process.
Filing Your Application
The first step in filing a Social Security disability benefits application for SSDI or SSI is to fill out a form provided by Social Security Administration (SSA). There are several ways of going about filling this form.
You can contact the SSA over the phone and discuss your claim with a field representative on the other end. The representative will conduct an interview over the phone. This is often a viable option if you don’t have any SSA office near you.
Alternatively, you can go to an SSA office for an in-person interview with an SSA representative. You should first call to schedule an appointment so that you don’t have to wait long hours at the office.
A third option is that you can fill out the SSA and apply online for SSA disability benefits. This option is advisable only if you fully understand the application process.
Once you file the application for Social Security disability benefits, SSA sends your application to Disability Determination Services. These are state-level entities that are specifically tasked with evaluating your application and making a preliminary decision on them.
At a state DDS, disability claims examiners are the ones who review and evaluate your application. The examiner may take a month or many months to make a final decision regarding your application. This depends on many factors, such as the completeness of your supporting documents.
During the course of evaluating your application, an examiner may also get in touch with the hospitals and any other medical facilities where you receive treatment. This is done to obtain first-hand records of your disability. The examiner may also contact your treating physician to gather more details surrounding your illness.
In addition, the evaluation process may also involve contacting your relatives and friends. This is done to ascertain the details of your illness and then verify the facts which are confirmed by most people.
In some cases, a DDS examiner may contact you and ask you to visit a designated DDS physician. You are then asked to undergo a detailed medical examination on the expense of DDS. Such an examination is typically needed when your medical records do not sufficiently support your disability claim. At a designated medical exam like this, it is important to share only the facts of your illness and avoid giving any opinions. These facts about the symptoms of your illness must be as detailed as possible.
Finally, an examiner may also consult with certain medical specialists in order to verify the nature and severity of your illness. Such experts may include physicians as well as psychologists.
Speeding Up the Evaluation Process
You can significantly speed up the evaluation of your disability application by doing the following things:
Provide copies of complete, detailed, and accurate medical records along with your application. This way, DDS doesn’t have to request your medical records, something which can cause long delays. Make sure you also keep a copy of the records you share with your application.
Contact the DDS Examiner
Contact the DDS examiner. As an applicant from Greenville, SC, you can contact the South Carolina DDS to inquire about your application. You can directly get in touch with the examiner. This gives you first-hand information about the progress of your application. It also lets the examiner know that you are following up.
Why Hire a Greenville Social Security Disability Lawyer?
If you are applying for SSA disability benefits in Greenville, SC, we can help you. Here at the Robert Surface Law Firm, we have been helping disability benefits applicants receive the benefits they deserve. We work with you to ensure that you file an application with all the requisite evidence. We also follow up on your application to make sure the evaluation process is sped up. Finally, our attorneys are here for you in case your application is denied. Get in touch with us today to discuss your disability benefits claim with our lawyers.