If you are considering filing a claim for Social Security disability benefits, a Charlotte disability attorney can help walk you through the process. There are three ways you can begin a claim:
- Use the Social Security website to file a claim.
- Call the Social Security toll-free number at 1-877-330-4817.
- Visit your local Social Security office to fill out a claim in person.
If you opt for a telephone appointment, it is likely that when you call, the representative will make an appointment you to visit a local Social Security office or for another representative to call you back at a specified date and time to take your full application.
What Can I Expect from the Application?
The application (or phone interview if that is what you chose) will ask you basic questions about yourself, your job history, and your impairment.
Answer the Questions to the Best of Your Ability
Although you might want to have a Charlotte disability attorney help you with your application, your lawyer is not allowed to sign it on your behalf. By law, only the claimant himself or herself may sign the completed application. If you have a telephone interview, the final form will be mailed to you for you to sign and return.
Who Evaluates Disability Claims?
The first two levels of disability adjudication are not actually handled by the national Social Security Administration. Instead, disability claims at these levels are sent to agencies of the state governments that have been contracted to evaluate disability claims. Typically, claims are evaluated by both a certified medical doctor and a disability examiner according to the criteria set down in the regulations. Their decision is used by the Social Security Administration as the decision for the first two levels of the disability process.
What Happens If My Claim Is Denied?
Most initial claims for disability benefits are denied. If your claim is denied, and you appeal within 60 days, you can file a request for “reconsideration,” which is the second level. However, even though reconsideration claims are evaluated by a different set of personnel than the initial claim, the outcome is likely to be the same. If that claim is denied, you have the option of appealing again by requesting a hearing before a judge.