Social Security Disability Do's and Don'ts

Do Hire an Attorney to Represent Your Claim
You are not required by law to hire legal representation for your claim for Social Security Disability benefits, but it is in your best interests to do so. The team at Shepard Law can assist you in gathering the required documentation to support your claim, take care of the necessary follow-up to push your case through the system, and can represent you in an appeal if you are wrongfully denied. You cannot assume that the Social Security Administration will look out for your best interests-they receive approximately 2.5 million claims every year, and are known for both making mistakes and for not having the resources to correct a claimant's mistakes. Let Mr. Shepard guide you through the process and help you improve your chances of success.

Don't Wait Until You Have Been Out of Work for a Year
While it is true that you will not be eligible for Social Security Disability unless you have a condition which prevents you from working for at least a year, you do not necessarily have to wait until the year has run out before filing your claim. Provided that you can supply medical testimony of the fact that you will be forced out of work for a year or longer, you should be qualified to claim financial and medical benefits. Keep in mind, many people have to wait several months or even more than a year before their claims are approved, so you should not wait any longer than absolutely necessary.

Do Seek Full Medical Attention for Your Condition
When you submit your application for benefits to the Social Security Administration, the Disability Determination Services staff will examine your claim for evidence that you are suffering from a qualified disability. By including sufficient medical documentation of the fact that you have been seeking treatment, you will have a better chance of being able to prove that your condition is one which genuinely makes it impossible for you to earn a suitable income.

Don't Give Up if Your Claim Has Been Denied
In the Panama City area 76% of all new claims for Social Security Disability are denied, but the chances of approval improve as you proceed through the various stages of appeal. Mr. Shepard and his dedicated staff of paralegals can examine your claim for errors or insufficient information and represent you in your Social Security Disability claim. The average wait time for an appeal hearing with an Administrative Law Judge in the Panama City area is currently 12 to 18 months, but the team at the firm routinely takes actions to expedite the process and is often able to get a client approved "on the record," which is to say get the client approved before the hearing.

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