Consulting a Social Security disability attorney is a smart move for workers who’ve become incapacitated due to injury or illness and are no longer able to do their previous jobs. Applying for support is a five-step process that can be complicated and cumbersome. Having sound legal advice can help make the process less confusing for claimants and their families.
The claim should be filed as soon as possible after the accident, illness, or injury. The qualification process can take a year or more, and the sooner a claim is filed after the disability occurs, the better. It’s important to establish a timeline early on so that it’s clear that the incident or illness caused the disability. The applicant will need to prove that they are no longer able to perform the main duties of the previous job and that the disability prevents them from gaining meaningful work in another or related field. Information like doctor’s reports, an official job description, and specific details about the illness, injury, or accident can help establish the validity of a claim. All of this information will be useful during the initial application process and interview.
The application will be reviewed, and the Social Security office will determine:
– Whether the applicant is able to complete his or her former job functions.
– How the work the applicant did compares to how the job is done nationally and whether the applicant can complete the same job in a different way.
– How the injury or illness has affected the applicant’s ability to do his or her job effectively.
– Whether the applicant can be trained to do a different job.
In order to determine the answers to these questions, the office will look over medical records, laboratory test results, and other information provided. A Social Security disability attorney can help the applicant understand what is necessary. It’s important to turn all forms and information in on time. The applicant is responsible for ensuring the disability office gets all the information it needs to make a determination.
Once the application is accepted, an interview will take place, either by phone or in person. The application process can take three to five months. It’s an arduous process, but a necessary one if one is disabled and unable to work. Once the application has been fully processed, the office will make a determination based on whether the applicant’s condition matches one on an existing list of disabilities, and the individual’s ability to work, either in the previous job or in another job.
Seventy percent of claims are denied, which is why it’s important to have an experienced Social Security disability attorney on hand to answer questions and help with the appeals process. Once the claim has been denied, the applicant can file an appeal, either online or by mail. New and updated information from doctors, physical therapists, and others may be helpful when filing an appeal. A Social Security disability attorney can advise claimants on the proper steps to take and documentation to provide when appealing a denial.