If you are unable to work due to a disabling condition, you may be aware that you could be eligible for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. However, the Social Security disability claims process can be confusing, stressful, and time-consuming. Some claimants spend years trying to get the benefits they need, to no avail.
The best way to improve your chances of success and speed up the process is to hire a skilled attorney. If you need to file for Social Security disability in South Carolina, Jebaily Law Firm can help. To learn more, call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
How Long Does a Disability Claim Take to Be Approved?
Depending on the details of your claim, it can take anywhere from 1 month to 31 months, or even longer, to have your disability claim approved. Longer wait times are unfortunately more common than short ones.
You can help improve the speed of your claim by making sure that you hire a knowledgeable lawyer and that you gather strong evidence. Be sure your claim is complete and all paperwork is in order.
Your claim is also more likely to go faster if your medical condition is severe, if you are older, if you previously did physical work, and if the local offices handling your claim are efficient.
Filing an Initial Claim for Social Security Disability Benefits
Filing your initial claim can take anywhere from one to four months. Unfortunately, only about 30 percent of applications are approved in this stage.
The claimants whose applications are approved at this stage usually have severe disabilities that clearly meet the disability guidelines. Most applications do not meet these specific guidelines and do not have enough medical evidence to support the claim, causing them to be denied at first.
How Long Does the SSD Appeals Process Take?
If you receive a denial, you will have 60 days to file an appeal, called a Request for Reconsideration. Depending on the caseload at your local Social Security office, it can take three to four months or even longer than six months to receive a decision about your appeal. Unfortunately, less than a quarter of people who file a Request for Reconsideration have their claims approved at this stage.
The Hearing Process for Social Security Appeals
After receiving a denial of your Request for Reconsideration, you have another 60 days to appeal to the next level. At this stage, you will bring your case before an Administrative Law Judge. This stage can take anywhere from nine to 24 months or even longer. It can take more than a year even to have your hearing scheduled. On the bright side, about two-thirds of applicants are approved at the disability hearing stage.
When you are finally approved, you are eligible to receive back-pay for all the payments you should have received but missed due to the appeals process. For example, if a judge approves your claim during the hearing process, awards you $1,000 a month, and determines that you were eligible for benefits 12 months ago, you will receive $12,000 to make up for those missed payments.
Speak with a Social Security Disability Lawyer
Working with a lawyer is the best way to help your Social Security disability claims process go smoothly and quickly. A lawyer who is familiar with the Social Security system will know precisely what evidence will be required to make your case as strong as possible. They can ensure you fill out your initial claim properly, and they can fight hard for you if you need to appeal.
If you need to file for Social Security Disability in South Carolina, Jebaily Law Firm can help. We have been representing people across South Carolina for Over 50 Years. We know what it takes to seek the benefits you need when you need them. To learn more about how we can help you during the SSD claims process, contact us today by phone or online for a free consultation.