There are three ways to apply for Social Security Disability benefits: in person at your local Social Security Office, online at ssa.gov, or by calling a toll-free phone number. When you file your application, you will be asked to describe your disabling condition. You will have to provide information about where you received medical treatment. You need to list your medications, and you will also be asked questions about your education and your work experience. Your application will go to an agency in the state of Georgia called Georgia Disability Adjudication Services (DAS).
DAS will review the information you provided and will also gather documentation based on the names of employers and medical providers that you’ve listed. Unfortunately, most people will be denied at this initial stage. There are some conditions like some forms of cancer and kidney failure which will result in an approval at this initial stage, but most people do get denied. If you are denied, you will be given 60 days to file an appeal.
The first appeal is called a request for reconsideration. You’ll be asked about anything that has changed since you initially filed your application. This claim and this appeal will go back to DAS, and they will review it just like an initial application; however, unless something significant changed, most likely you will get turned down a second time. If you do get turned down that second time, you get 60 days to file an appeal. This time, you will be requesting a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. It does take quite a while to get a hearing. In Georgia, especially in the Atlanta area, it may take a year. But this is the stage that most people will be approved for benefits, and this is the stage in which having an attorney will make the difference between success and failure on your claim.
If you have any questions about Social Security Disability and are thinking of filing a claim or are thinking of filing an appeal, give us a call today. We would be happy to talk with you about your claim. There is no fee for the consultation, and there is no obligation.