Panama City Social Security Disability Attorney
Contact The Disability Group Today At (850) 296-0491!
Many people do not expect their valid Social Security Disability claim to be denied, but there is no guarantee that you will be able to receive the financial and medical benefits you deserve without a fight. According to the Social Security Administration, 76% of all new claims are denied, and not all of those who choose to appeal the denial are successful. If you suffer from a medical condition (physical or psychological) that prevents you from working and need to find a way to support yourself and your family, it is in your best interests to hire an attorney to help you prepare your application and represent you throughout the entire claims process.
Contact The Disability Group for help from an experienced attorney.
Social Security Disability is a federal program designed to aid those who are unable to work due to a severe, long-term, or permanent medical condition. In Florida, disability benefits through this program provide crucial financial support to help recipients manage their living expenses and medical costs. Individuals suffering from disabling conditions can seek these benefits, which are intended to act as a safety net for those who have contributed to the system through previous work and payroll taxes. Navigating the complexities of Social Security in Panama City can be daunting, which is why it is often essential to work with a knowledgeable attorney who is experienced in dealing with Florida disability benefits.
How Do You File for Disability?
Filing for Social Security Disability involves a multi-step process that can be complex. Here is a detailed list of steps to follow, highlighting the key roles played by a disability attorney in Panama City, Florida:
- Initial Preparation: Gather all medical records, work history, and personal identification documents. Consult with a Panama City disability attorney for a thorough review of your case and for professional advice on the necessary documentation.
- Application Submission: Complete the application form for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Submit the application online, by mail, or in person at a local Social Security office.
- Claim Review: The Social Security Administration (SSA) reviews the application to determine if basic technical criteria are met. The claim is then sent to Disability Determination Services (DDS) to evaluate the severity of the disability.
- Medical Determination: DDS requests medical records from the doctors and hospitals listed in the application. If additional information is required, DDS may arrange for a consultative exam (CE).
- Decision Phase: DDS makes the initial determination on the claim based on all gathered evidence. An attorney can help interpret the decision details and plan the next step if the claim is denied.
- Reconsideration and Appeals: If denied, there is an opportunity to file for reconsideration, where the claim is reviewed by a different set of examiners. A disability attorney can guide you through the appeals process, which may include hearings before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), the Appeals Council, and potentially Federal Court.
A Panama City disability attorney not only provides legal representation but can also be an invaluable advocate throughout the entire application process, improving the chances of a favorable outcome.
Reasons To Choose The Firm
- Always Meet with Your Attorney
- Available Around The Clock
- 30 Years Of Combined Legal Experience
- Customized & Effective Legal Solutions
- Extensive Track Record Of Success
- We Handle Federal Court Appeals
It is not uncommon for the Social Security Administration to take several months to review your disability application. If your case requires a hearing, you can expect to wait 16 to 18 months before seeing a judge. The Disability Group team will do everything in their power to help your claim get approved prior to a Hearing. However, if necessary, Mr. Shepard will work to obtain the earliest possible hearing date. The goal at The Disability Group is to get you approved as soon as possible so that you start receiving the payments and health care you need and deserve. Call or visit the firm now for an initial consultation to learn whether you are eligible to receive benefits.
How Can The Disability Group Help You
- We can help from the very beginning by filing your application.
- We can provide a list of low-cost or no-cost medical providers to treat your conditions and help gather evidence for your claim.
- Do's and Don'ts - Navigating the Social Security Disability process can be a significant challenge. There are a few things you can do to improve your chances of a successful claim. Read over The Disability Group's tips about how you can avoid common mistakes and expedite your claim for benefits.
- Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") - If you have not worked recently and have a medical condition (physical or psychological) that prevents you working, you may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income. SSI benefits include financial assistance to help you meet your expenses for food, shelter and medical care. There are two requirements for the SSI program. First, you must have a diagnosed medical condition that prevents you from working. Second, your income and assets must fall below a government mandated threshold. To find out more about SSI call The Disability Group today.
- Social Security Disability Insurance ("SSDI") - You may not have realized it, but there is a very good chance that you have been paying for disability insurance since the day you first starting earning a paycheck. Provided that you have been working at jobs where your earnings were subject to the Social Security payroll tax, you have been making contributions to a fund from which you may now be able to benefit from.
- Check out our Resources page: https://www.panamacitydisability.com/resources/
Don't hesitate to contact The Disability Group if you have any further questions.
How long does it take to receive a hearing?
In our area, it currently takes anywhere from 18 to 24 months from the time a hearing is requested until the date it is scheduled. The team at The Disability Clinic does everything in their power to cut down on this delay, so that you can begin receiving benefits as early as possible. In some cases, this includes getting a client approved "on the record," which is to say getting your disability claim approved before a hearing.
What can I do if my claim is denied?
The Social Security Administration provides four levels of appeal for those who believe that their claims have been wrongfully denied. Reconsideration, the first step, involves having a different staff member at Disability Determination Services review your application. Only 15% of applications are approved at this stage, so it will likely be necessary to request a hearing.
At a hearing, an Administrative Law Judge reviews all the evidence in the case, and you or your attorney have the opportunity to make an appeal and argue based on the medical records and testimony presented why your disability claim should be approved. In the event that your claim is still denied, you can request to have your case reviewed by the Social Security Appeals Council, and can even take the claim before a federal judge.
Is it true that all claims are denied the first time?
No! This popular misconception does, however, have a basis of truth. In the Panama City area 76% of all initial claims are denied, whether due to mistakes on the application, insufficient information provided by the claimant, or errors on the part of Disability Determination Services staff. Nationally, approximately 2.5 million people apply for SSD every year which means that only 600,000 people receive their benefits without any further trouble. Those who are denied have a right to hire an attorney and appeal the decision.
How much can I receive in benefits?
The Social Security Administration uses a complex formula to determine the amount of financial benefits to be paid. However, the amount of financial benefits you receive is calculated on your lifetime earnings and the amount of taxes you have paid into the Social Security system. SSDI benefits will not typically fully replace your lost wages, but are calculated so that high-income earners will receive more than those who have not historically had as high of an income.