An Atlanta Social Security Disability Law Office Attorney Addresses the Claims Process
In this article, an Atlanta Social Security disability law office attorney offers advice and guidance in filing initial and reconsideration Social Security disability claims.
Submitting the Application There are three ways to apply for Social Security disability benefits. You can apply online at www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability/adult.htm, visit your local office and apply in person or you can apply over the phone by calling 1-800-772-1213. If you decide to call, you can either set up an appointment to come in and speak to someone or you can arrange for a representative from SSA to call you back and take your application over the phone. To apply in person, you follow the same procedure as you would to apply over the telephone. You will need to call the toll-free number but instead of a call-back, you will set a time and date for your visit. The agent will provide you with directions and instructions as to what you need to bring. If you choose the latter of the two alternatives, the entire procedure is completed via telephone call. Once the representative has entered your information on the computerized form, a hard copy will be sent to you for your review and signature. Any accompanying forms will be mailed to you at the same time.
When You Receive the Completed Application SSA regulations forbid your Atlanta Social Security disability lawyer to sign the application form for you under 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.612 and 404.613. Only an attorney that has been court-appointed may do so. If you need help completing the form online your attorney may provide assistance, but he or she cannot sign the form electronically. You may access the following website for more information https://secure.ssa.gov/apps6z/ISBA/main.html.
Role of the Disability Examiner The disability examiner is a layperson contracted to a state agency who, in conjunction with a physician, has the responsibility of reviewing the medical grounds for determining whether you are or are not disabled. The agency evaluates both initial claims and those submitted for reconsideration, and, based on the decision of the doctor and disability examiner, submits the results to the SSA. Normally, the SSA accepts the decision rendered by the agency. An experimental program is under consideration that will enable disability examiners to decide on reasonably straightforward cases without input from a doctor.
Requesting Reconsideration You and your Atlanta Social Security disability lawyer have the option to appeal the initial decision if it is unsatisfactory. In essence, you are asking the SSA to reconsider its initial determination. The SSA, however, is testing the possibility of removing the reconsideration step from the process in Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and certain areas in New York and California. If you live in one of these prototype states, you will be instructed to ask to have your case heard by an administrative law judge. Directions on how to proceed with this option are available from HALLEX I-2-4-99 if you expect to be moving into or out of one of those states.
Reconsideration requests are not handled by the same team that made the original decision, but the initial determinations are usually upheld. Only rarely is a decision overturned. 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.907 et seq. In such a situation, you should consider requesting a hearing so that you can present your case to an administrative law judge.
For Qualified Representation If you would like to learn more, need clarification or are seeking assistance, the attorneys at your Atlanta Social Security disability law office are here for you. Contact the Law Office of Louis B. Lusk at 404-250-7000 today.