Applying For Disability Benefits

Applicants wishing to apply for disability benefits can provide their information to the Social Security Administration in a variety of ways:

  • An in-person interview at the nearest SSA office
  • An interview by phone
  • An at-home interview, conducted by an SSA field rep
  • Online, using the SSA's website

The SSA makes available a hard copy Adult Disability Starter Kit, which includes information about how SSD works, a checklist of information you need to have during your interview, and a worksheet allowing you to enter key facts about yourself and your disability.

SSA Decisions Take Time

Based on the information you provide in this interview or in your online application, the SSA will either allow or refuse disability benefits to you. It will usually take them several months to arrive at this decision.

The odds of being granted benefits on your fist try are not terrible. About 30 percent are approved for benefits, and 70 percent are denied. Experience shows that successful applicants usually have the benefit of someone — an SSD lawyer or other very knowledgeable person — providing oversight and assistance.

Reconsideration Of Denied Disability Claims

If your application is denied, you are allowed to resubmit the application in a process called reconsideration. Reconsideration usually amounts to a second look at your application. It does not usually result in a reversal of the decision.

For most people, the next step will be an appearance at an administrative law judge (ALJ) hearing. These hearings are usually held a year or even two years following your initial application.

Is the SSD application process arduous? Yes, it is, and many applicants lose heart as the refusals pile up. But this is a mistake. With the guidance of a skilled SSD/SSI attorney like Susan M. O'Malley, and the patience to stick with the application process, success is highly probable.

If you are applying for disability benefits, and are determined to succeed in getting them, ask our attorneys about your case. Write us or call O'Malley Tunstall PLLC of Raleigh, North Carolina, at 252-823-2266, 919-277-0150 or toll free 800-755-1987.