SSD Application Process
The Social Security Disability application and filing process can be both confusing and time-consuming. The attorneys at Wincek & DeRosa are available to help you through every step of the way. Whether you are considering filing an application for the first time, or have already started the process, our attorneys will meet with you for a free consultation. However, we advise our clients to get a disability lawyer involved early in their application process so their case may be evaluated, prepared and presented as strongly as possible in the hope of getting early approval for benefits. Our attorneys will meet with you and help you file your initial application online. If necessary, we will meet with you in the comfort of your home.
After the Social Security Administration receives your application and medical records, it may take four or more months to receive an initial determination as to whether you qualify for disability benefits. The SSA may schedule you to be examined by a doctor or psychiatrist who will prepare a report about your physical or mental health problems. It is important that you list all of your health problems, even if you believe they are not disabling. Applicants may find that their success hinges on medical issues they did not initially believe were severe. The SSA makes its initial determination without a hearing. Don’t be alarmed if your benefits are initially denied – in Ohio it is not uncommon for the majority of applicants to be denied unilaterally.
Northern Ohio SSDI Lawyers
Disability claimants who are initially denied benefits must file an application for reconsideration. At this step, it is important to tell the Social Security Administration if your symptoms or conditions have changed. Our firm will also help you provide the SSA any additional medical records if your medical treatment is ongoing. Like the initial determination, the reconsideration step may take four or more months and is decided without a hearing. Unfortunately, very few people who are denied benefits initially will be approved at the reconsideration level.
Individuals who are not approved for SSDI benefits at the initial or reconsideration levels must file a request to have a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. This is your opportunity to appear in person before a judge and state your case for benefits. Many more applicants are granted benefits following a hearing because they may tell their story and present facts that may not be apparent from medical records alone. At Wincek & DeRosa we will assist and prepare you to present your story fully and accurately, so that your story is understood by an administrative law judge. For many applicants, it may take two or more years from the date they apply for Social Security benefits until they are scheduled for a hearing before an ALJ.
It is crucial that you have the assistance of an experienced disability attorney before and during your disability hearing. The attorneys at Wincek & DeRosa have decades of experience appearing before and presenting cases to Administrative Law Judges. We will help you tell your story in an effective and compelling manner. The process can be intimidating, but we are here to help.
Summit County Social Security Attorneys
Many applicants will have thousands of pages of medical records dating back years. Our attorneys will thoroughly review all of your records so we may direct the judge’s attention to what is important. Hearings often last an hour or more, and it is critical to make every minute count. Our attorneys will organize your case so it may be presented as efficiently and effectively as possible. We will also prepare you in advance so that you are comfortable and calm testifying to the Administrative Law Judge.
For those applicants who are not granted benefits following their hearing, some options still remain. The next step is a written appeal to the Social Security Appeals Council Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. This process may take a year or longer. Individuals who have been denied SSDI benefits may appeal to Federal Court. At Wincek & DeRosa, we can help you identify whether your case should be brought to Federal Court. Finally, a new application may be a good strategy based upon new medical conditions diagnosed.