Let our Central Virginia social security lawyers guide you through the Social Security disability application and appeals process
Even on your best day, dealing with the Social Security bureaucracy is frustrating. On those days when you are not at your best, it can be completely overwhelming. We know you are worried. We know you have questions. After 25 years helping Social Security disability claimants through the application and appeals process, our Central Virginia social security lawyers or Roanoke disability attorneys have the answer.
Should I apply for Social Security disability benefits?
You should apply for Social Security disability benefits if the following statement describes your situation: I have a chronic physical (or mental) condition that is so severe it prevents me from doing work I have done in the past or any other type of work.
My initial application for Social Security disability benefits was denied. Should I appeal?
Yes. In fact, perhaps the biggest mistake you can make is failing to appeal. Nationally, as in Virginia, only about 40% of initial applications for Social Security disability benefits are granted. The percentage is even lower – about 20% — for the first level of appeal, a written Request for Reconsideration. However, more than half of all claimants who appeal their case to a hearing before an administrative law judge are awarded benefits. If your claim for disability benefits was denied, but you are unable to work because of a severe physical or mental condition, it is worth your time and effort to appeal, at least to the hearing level.
Why are so many claims for benefits initially denied, only to be granted later, after a hearing?
The decisions on your initial application and your written Request for Reconsideration are based solely on the paperwork and supporting documentation available to the Social Security decision-maker at that time. At these early stages of the disability benefits process, the decision-makers tend to rigidly apply the Social Security rules and regulations to the facts of each case and to treat all claimants with similar impairments similarly. Consequently, some deserving individuals have their claims erroneously denied. The hearing before an administrative law judge is different. The hearing marks the first time a Social Security decision-maker gets to meet you in person. It is your chance to plead your case directly to the individual who will be deciding your claim – to look him or her in the eye, describe your unique circumstances, and explain why your condition and its related symptoms prevent you from working. This face-to-face interaction may help to explain the higher rate of claims granted after a hearing.
How can a Central Virginia social security lawyer help me?
We are a team of Central Virginia disability lawyers and we can help you through every phase of the Social Security disability application and appeals process. We work on your behalf to:
- Confirm that you meet the basic medical and non-medical eligibility requirements for disability benefits;
- Gather medical records, employment records, and other supporting documentation so that your initial application presents a complete picture of your disability;
- File your initial application and monitor its progress; if necessary, file a timely Request for Reconsideration and Request for Hearing;
- Develop a strategy that focuses your appeal on the legal issues that are important to Social Security;
- Identify and fill any holes in the medical evidence or other evidence in support of your claim (e.g., by obtaining a written medical opinion from your doctor);
- Prepare you to give your best testimony at your hearing;
- Arrange for supporting witnesses to testify at your hearing;
- Attend the hearing to advocate on your behalf and protect your rights.
The website of attorney Fred Daleyis exactly need if you are looking for more information about Social Security disability application process.
You do not have to take on the Social Security bureaucracy alone. We can help you navigate the disability benefits application and appeals process, and maximize your chances of a successful outcome. If you would like to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced Central Virginia social security lawyer or Roanoke disability attorney, please contact us to schedule a free initial consultation. Use the form on this page to tell us about your situation, or call or email our office directly. We handle initial applications and all stages of the appeals process.
We wish you well.