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Social Security Disability Practice

The Social Security Administration is responsible for processing claims for retirement, disability, and survivor's benefits. Of these benefit programs, disability claims are the category of benefits most often denied. If you are considering filing for disability benefits or if you have recently been denied disability benefits, it is important to understand the Social Security Administration's definition of disability, how the claims are processed, and your rights if the claims are denied.

While the Social Security Administration has a well-defined process for filing for disability benefits, the rules and regulations are complex and the claims and appeal process can be lengthy—often taking years to reach a successful result. An experienced attorney, like Sharon Barrett, can offer your valuable insight and guidance to help you pursue your right to benefits. Below, you will find general information regarding the claims process.

Social Security Administration's Claims Process

  1. Initial Application
    1. Decision is rendered by the Division of Disability Determinations
    2. Denial rate is approximately 90 percent
    3. Process can take up to 150 days
  2. Reconsideration
    1. This is the first appeal
    2. Decision is again rendered by the Division of Disability Determinations
    3. Process usually takes 60 to 90 days
  3. Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge
    1. Currently taking 10-12months from date of request for the hearing to have the case heard by the judge
  4. Appeals Council
    1. If the Administrative Law Judge denies your claim, you can ask the Appeals Council to review the decision
  5. Federal Court
    1. If the Appeals Council declines to review the decision or affirms the Administrative Law Judge's decision, you can file a civil suit in federal court

Key to Success: developing and presenting evidence that demonstrates that you suffer from severe physical and/or mental impairments that prevent you from sustaining substantial work and shows that you meet the Social Security Administration's definition of disability.

For more information, look under the Frequently Asked Questions Section.

If you would like to discuss your case with Sharon, please call for a free consultation.

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