The Social Security Claims Process-Part 1
People are often overwhelmed with the prospect of navigating the tricky waters of filing for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Hopefully, this series of posts will help simplify things and give you the information you need to make it through each step of the process. I will discuss the process as it exists in Mobile and Baldwin County, Alabama, as it varies in different areas of the Country.
To start the process to obtain Social Security Disability (SSD) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, an individual must first file a claim. In a SSD case this can be done online at www.SSA.gov. An online application is not available in SSI cases, so that must be done by either calling or visiting your local Social Security office. If you are not comfortable filing an application for SSD online, you can do that at your local Social Security office. Locally there are Social Security offices in Mobile for Mobile County and Fairhope for Baldwin County. The application will have questions about your education, work background, medical conditions, medications and medical treatment. While there is no requirement that you have an attorney help you file your application, an experienced attorney can make sure that thorough and complete information is submitted with your application.
Once the initial application has been completed, it typically takes 120-150 days for a decision. During that time you may be contacted by the Disability Determination Service (DDS) to provide additional information, and in some instances you may be asked to attend an appointment with a medical professional for an evaluation. The evaluation is paid for by Social Security, and the doctor will provide a report to DDS outlining his/her findings. The doctor will not provide treatment or medications. During the review of the initial application, medical records will be requested from medical providers you have seen and identified on your application. If you have an attorney, they can make sure that all relevant records are submitted for consideration. About 70% of initial applications for SSD and/or SSI benefits are denied. If your initial application is granted, SSA will calculate your benefits and notify you of the amount of your monthly benefit and in some cases your back due benefits.
Part 2 of the series will discuss what you should do if your initial application is denied. I have handled thousands of SSD/SSI cases for people and would be happy to talk with you about your case. Cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, so there is no fee unless benefits are recovered. Call today to schedule an appointment in our Mobile or Baldwin County offices. 1-251-455-5819.
Mobile Alabama Social Security Attorney Randy Walton February 2, 2016
The Alabama State Bar requires the following disclaimer: No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services provided by other lawyers.