Social Security Disability Claim Process

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Social Security Disability Claim Process

Social Security Disability Claim Process in Hampton, VA

The process of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits can be fairly involved and time-consuming, and one where retaining a Social Security disability attorney can greatly benefit an applicant. Throughout the process, there are a variety of different areas where the specialized knowledge and experience of an attorney can prevent missteps or speed along the application process, and we encourage anyone applying for Social Security disability benefits to discuss the advantages that legal representation can bring to the process before they begin their application. Several million people apply for Social Security disability benefits every year, and only about thirty percent are approved during the initial application stage.

Initial Filing

The process begins with filing an initial application to the Social Security Administration. Most applications are now filed online, and the agency encourages people to use this method. However, you can also apply by visiting a local Social Security branch or by calling the SSA. 

What You Need to Complete the Application

To complete the application, you’ll need to gather three types of information:

  • Details about Yourself and Your Family. This includes basic information like your date of birth and social security number, as well as information about current and former spouses and minor children. You’ll also need to supply banking information for payment of the benefits.
  • Medical Records. The application must include detailed accounts of your medical conditions, injuries, tests, procedures, medications, and more.
  • Work History. You’ll also need to provide verification of your recent income and employment, as well as your prior work history. Information on military service and worker’s compensation claims may also be needed.

The SSA offers an Adult Disability Checklist with more information on the types of records needed to apply. If you need to mail any documents related to your application, be sure to include your social security number (on a separate piece of paper, not on the original document) so that your additional records can be matched with your application.

What Happens After Your Application is Submitted?

Initial applications are typically handled through local Social Security Administration (SSA) field offices or, in some cases, through a state agency. Applicants should be aware that it is in their best interests to provide as much detail as possible in the filing because this information can have significant impacts on the eventual result of their application. 

The SSA will review your application, verify your work history, and, if you meet the basic requirements for benefits, forward your application to Disability Determination Services for approval or denial.  Receiving an answer back on your initial application usually takes around 3-6 months. Processing times increased significantly in 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic and have been slow to recover. In 2021, the average processing time for initial SSDI applications was 165 days.

Denial and Appeal

Only around 30% of applicants will be accepted after their initial filing. If the initial claim is rejected, the applicant will have 60 days to appeal the decision to the SSA, where it will be given a second review. The reconsideration process usually takes between three and five months to be completed, and around 15% of the reconsidered applicants will be approved at this stage.

Contact a Skilled Social Security Attorney

Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be a daunting process, and certainly is an intimidating one. Working with an experienced disability attorney can not only increase an applicant’s chances of success at an early stage of the application process, but it can also help to reduce the stress and aggravation of the process. If you or a loved one are fighting to get the disability benefits you deserve, we encourage you to contact Hampton Injury Law today.


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