So You've Been Denied Disability. What Next?

Man leaning on a crane

If you’ve been denied representation by a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) attorney group because you haven’t yet filed your claim with the Social Security Administration (SSA), take these few simple steps on your own before contacting Affleck & Gordon. We can represent you in your case, but only if you’ve taken steps first to initiate your claim. 

You have three steps to complete before contacting any Social Security Disability lawyer near you. Once you have completed the initial application process, we would love to hear from you to assist you. This article provides basic information for you regarding the steps you’ll need to complete before contacting us for representation. 

We look forward to assisting you with your disability claim. Here are your three steps.

First Step: Determine Your Eligibility to Apply for SSI or SSDI

To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must have a work history in jobs covered by Social Security. SSI and SSDI are different in that SSDI is for workers who have paid into the Social Security system over time and have that benefit to draw from. SSI is for people who have not paid into Social Security and have limited or non-existent means of financial support. If you have been injured at work, it’s important that you also are aware of worker’s compensation claims and if you’re eligible for that program due to a work injury. You can learn more information about worker’s compensation here. If you are a Veteran, you may also be eligible for VA disability. You can find more information on VA disability here. 

Once you know which program you are eligible for, you can move forward with the application process for that program.

Second Step: Understand Your Disability as Defined by the SSA

You must have a disability that meets the SSA’s definition of disability. Because of the specificity of these definitions, it’s important to fully understand how your disability fits within their system so that you receive the proper benefits that you deserve. 

 The Social Security Administration has specific criteria one must meet to file for disability. 

  1. Are You Currently Working?
  2. Is Your Condition “Severe”? 
  3. Is Your Condition Itemized in the List of Disabling Conditions?
  4. Can You do the Work You’ve Done Previously?
  5. Can You do any Other Types of Work?

You can find additional details to these questions directly with the Social Security Administration.

The list of medical conditions that meet the SSA’s definition of disability can be found here. The listing of impairments for adults is different than for children with disabilities, but both include physical and mental conditions that either prevent you from working or provide your child with the benefits needed for their medical care. 

For a video about the Social Security disability process, including possible appeals and denials, please watch this video produced by the Social Security Administration.

Third Step: Apply Online or In-Person

The Social Security Administration offers resources so that you can apply online for disability benefits. This is a process that you can complete at your convenience, but be prepared to have the following personal information handy:

  • Your place of birth and Social Security Number (SSN)
  • The name, age, birth date, and SSN for your current and former spouses. 
  • Names and dates of birth of your children
  • Your bank’s routing information
  • Information about your medical condition including details of all doctors, clinics, medications you are taking, and tests you’ve completed relevant to your condition
  • Your current and prior incomes
  • Your employer information
  • A list of up to five jobs you’ve had over the past 15 years

Additional resources can be found here. 

You can also apply: 

  • By phone - Call us at 1 (800) 772-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call us at TTY 1 (800) 325-0778.
  • In person - Visit your local Social Security office. (Call first to make an appointment.) 

If you do not live in the U.S. or one of its territories, you can also contact your nearest Federal Benefits Unit that provides service to your country of residence.

Why Contact a SSI/SSDI Lawyer?

Although you may breathe a sigh of relief after completing your application for disability benefits, it’s important to know that for many applications, this is only the beginning of what can be a long journey toward receiving disability benefits. Your case may be easily approved, but in most cases, the SSA requires more information, or processes an appeal, or even files a denial of benefits. Often,denials are based on technical errors or missing information--two problems that can be easily rectified with the right attorney group on your side. 

Once you’ve completed your application, contact us at (404) 990-3945 for next steps regarding your claim. 

When to Contact Affleck & Gordon

Once you have applied online or in person for your disability claim, you have the option of seeking representation with a qualified, local SSI/SSDI attorney group to assist you with your claim and a potential appeal. We want to be your partner as you move forward through your claim and the process for gaining the disability benefits that you deserve. 

In almost all cases, Social Security claimants won’t pay an up-front attorney’s fee. Instead, their attorney will only be paid a percentage of their initial back pay of benefits, according to a national federal standard, if they win their claim.

If your Supplemental Security Income claim has been denied, or you’re thinking about filing and don’t know where to start, Affleck and Gordon can help. We’ve been helping people in Georgia just like you for over 45 years. Once you have applied online for benefits, sign up for a free case evaluation here, and call us (404) 990-3945.

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