Filing for disability benefits can be one of the most frustrating experiences of your life. You have a permanent disability, and you need assistance. Many people file for disability every year, and most are denied immediately. You have to work your way through a complicated system to get these benefits.
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers are experienced Norcross personal injury lawyers that understands how overwhelming this can be. We know that these benefits are essential to your quality of life. If you are filing for disability, have lost your disability, or have been denied, we can help. Contact our offices today to schedule your free consultation.
What is Social Security Disability Benefits in Georgia?
Individuals that have permanent disabilities in Georgia may be eligible for government assistance. This disability can be physical or mental and must prevent the individual from maintaining employment. If you have injuries that restrict you from working for a year, you could even file for critical benefits.
You are only eligible to receive this benefit if you have paid into social security. So, you must have worked before you can receive benefits. If you are under the age of 65, you must have spent 20 credits into your social security. This must have been within 10 years of the onset of your disability.
What is Supplemental Security Income?
This program was designed by the Social Security Administration to give assistance to those struggling with long-term disabilities. Benefits through this program are different than SSDI. These benefits are based on the disability, not whether the individual has paid into social security. So, you don’t have to contribute to social security at all to get these benefits. SSI is paid monthly and is supposed to cover the individual’s basic needs, like clothing, food, and shelter.
How do I get SSDI or SSI benefits?
The process is tricky, and the paperwork can be confusing. In fact, almost 70% of all benefits claims are denied at the initial level. Some individuals stop trying right there because they don’t know how the process works. A large number of cases are approved in the appeals process. However, most of these individuals have a lawyer at their side.
What are the steps in getting Social Security Benefits?
You will fill out the paperwork to file for benefits. This is known as the initial stage of the process. If you are denied, you will then go to the reconsideration level. Many cases are dismissed at both these levels. So, you will need to go to hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Going through the entire process can take years.
There are many steps in the hearing process, some of the more common statuses are:
- Folder Assembly: Your evidence is being organized within your file. This is what your ALJ and Social Security Administration representative will review when your case is decided.
- Pending ALJ Assignment: Your case is still waiting to be assigned to an ALJ. However, your file is complete and ready to review. Getting assigned a judge can take many months, mainly because Georgia is behind in cases.
- Ready to Schedule: Your case has finally been assigned to an ALJ, and it needs to be added to the docket. Again, this process can take a while because many cases are waiting to be scheduled.
- Post-Hearing Development: The ALJ has heard your case, but your file is still open. You can again submit evidence at this time. Not all cases will have this status.
- Post-Hearing Review: The file is closed, and no more evidence can be submitted. All of the evidence in the data is being reviewed by the ALJ.
- Pending Decision Writing: Your file and all of your documents have been reviewed. Again, no additional evidence or information can be added to your data.
- Decision Writing Process: A formal decision has been made by the ALJ, and their staff is writing it down. This decision is the product of all the information and evidence that was presented in your file. Once this formal decision has been written, it will be mailed to you. Your data is closed. The case is over.
Not all claims will go through all this, but they will go through most of the steps. You must have an experienced attorney to help you guide through all the stages of this process.
Don’t risk your benefits! Contact The Bader Law Firm today
You deserve the peace of mind disability benefits can bring. We know how vital SSDI and SSI can be to you and your family. If you are having issues with your disability benefits, call our offices to set up your appointment.