In this article, Ocala disability lawyer CJ Henry will explain the first two levels of review of your claim for Social Security disability benefits.
You can apply for Social Security disability benefits (but not for SSI disability) on the Internet, but most claimants apply by phone. You can also make an appointment with a Social Security Administration claims representative at your local Social Security office. You will be asked to provide basic information, which the claims representative will type into the computer and print out for you to sign. If you make a telephone appointment, then the claims representative will mail you the form for you to sign. Keep in mind that only you can sign this application; your Ocala disability lawyer may not do so, unless the court appoints him or her to do so. This also means that your lawyer may not “electronically” sign any application that you submit over the Internet. Your lawyer, however, may still help you fill out the application.
At the first two levels of review, it will not be the Social Security Administration that determines whether you are disabled. It will instead refer your claim to a state government agency, which will hire a medical doctor and a disability examiner to evaluate your claim. Once these determinations have been made, the Social Security Administration will adopt them.
If you’re rejected for disability benefits in your initial determination, you can appeal. This is called a request for reconsideration. In this stage, there will be a different team of a doctor and disability examiner who will evaluate your claim, but chances are, the result will be the same. If you’re denied benefits at the reconsideration level, you may appeal yet again by requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge.
Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be a confusing and frustrating process. Ocala disability lawyer CJ Henry can help. To schedule a free initial consultation, simply fill out the form on this page.