Dealing with a permanent disability is a life-changing and stressful event, compounded further by the inability to work and pay for basic necessities or expenses. Seeking assistance from a South Carolina social security disability attorney can alleviate some of that burden.
Social Security disability insurance exists to provide people who have been permanently disabled with the compensation that they need, but sometimes valid claims are denied by the agency. Our South Carolina disability lawyers have been successfully fighting for clients’ right to disability benefits for years and can help you get the compensation that you deserve.
Social Security Disability Insurance
According to the Social Security website, Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) pays benefits to people who cannot work because they have been disabled by a medical condition that is expected to last longer than a year or result in death. Social Security disability insurance is different in that it only pays for total disability. There are no benefits awarded for short-term or partial disability under this program.
Deciding SSDI Claims
The Social Security office will review your application to ensure that you meet the basic qualifications for disability benefits, such as years worked and current work activities. Then, the Disability Determination Services office will render a decision based upon the following questions:
- Are you working?
- Is your medical condition severe?
- Is your medical condition on the “List of Impairments?”
- Can you do the work that you did before?
- Can you do any other type of work?
If you are approved, the office will send you a letter with your acceptance and a benefit amount. If you are denied, then the office will send a letter detailing its decision why and how to appeal the decision. This process can take as long as three to five months before a decision is rendered.
If your initial SSDI application is denied, there is an option to appeal the decision. An attorney can ensure that the process goes smoothly and that you are making the best possible case for SSDI benefits. There are four levels of appeal for an SSDI application:
- Administrative law judge hearing;
- Appeals council; and
- Federal court review.
You must make an appeal in writing within 60 days of receiving your denial letter. For reconsideration, a new person at the disability determination office will look at your application and will consider any new evidence that is proffered of your disability. At the next phase of appeals, an administrative law judge will hear the case as well as talk to any lay or expert witnesses about your case.
If you still do not get a favorable decision, you can appeal to the Social Security appeals council. It looks at all requests for review, but it has the right to deny your request. It can either decide the case itself or send it back to another administrative judge for further review. Finally, if the appeals council denies your request or your claims, you may appeal once more and file a claim in federal district court.
Let a South Carolina Social Security Disability Attorney Help
If you or a loved one has been disabled, your focus should be on the rehabilitation process and not on the legal claims. Let our disability law attorneys can help you put your full attention towards recovery.. Call the office or contact us today for a free and confidential consultation of your case.