At Deputy and Mizell, we know that having a disability can impede your ability to work and make it impossible to be financially independent. As Social Security attorneys in Central Missouri, we also know that when applying for benefits, many or most claims are rejected at first. We don’t want anyone to be discouraged, and we highly recommend that you talk to a Social Security lawyer in mid-Missouri before and after submitting your claim.
At Deputy and Mizell we offer free consultations. We represent claimants from Kansas City to St. Louis, Jefferson City, Columbia, and throughout Missouri. If you would like to learn a little bit more about the process and some common questions asked by claimants, read on! We are going to talk about three important things to understand about the process of applying for Social Security disability today in part one. In part two we will answer some common questions asked by claimants when applying for Social Security disability.
Applying for Disability and Subsequent Steps to Take if Your Claim is Denied.
Step 1. File an initial application Once you apply, it typically takes 90 to 120 days for the Social Security Administration to review your claim and either approve or deny your application. It is important to remember that approximately only 30 percent of Social Security disability applications are approved at this stage. If you are approved, you will begin receiving disability benefits.
Step 2. If denied, request for reconsideration If your initial claim is denied, you have 60 days to file a Request for Reconsideration in which the Social Security Administration will review your application again. This process takes approximately three to six months.
Step 3. If still denied, request a hearing level If your Request for Reconsideration is denied again, you must then appeal and request a disability hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. This stage of the appeals process can last a year or more. Oftentimes claimants will have to wait approximately two years before they have their hearing. After the hearing, you will either receive a favorable decision, a partially favorable decision, or an unfavorable decision within six months
Step 4. If you don’t agree with the decision, bring it to the Appeals Council If you do not agree with the Administrative Law Judge’s decision at the hearing level, you have the right to appeal that decision with the Appeals Council. The review by the Appeals Council usually takes between six months to one year until completion. It is important to remember fewer than five percent of Social Security Disability cases are won at this stage of the appeals process.
Step 5. If denied by the Appeals Council, appeal to the Federal District Court If your claim is denied by the Appeals Council, you may appeal your case to the Federal District Court. The Federal District Court may approve or deny your claim for Social Security Disability benefits or they may send your case back to Social Security Administration for further review.
What to Expect at Your Disability Hearing.
Claimants are often nervous before the disability hearing simply because they do not know what to expect. When you appeal your case, you can request an in-person hearing or a Virtual Teleconference Hearing.
- If you choose a Virtual Teleconference Hearing, your hearing could be at a local Social Security Administration Office. In this part of the state, these types of hearings take place at the Social Security Administration offices in Jefferson City, Lebanon, and Sedalia
- If you choose an in-person hearing, it will be held at an Office of Adjudication and Review (ODAR). In this part of the state, in-person hearings are held at the ODAR location in Columbia.
If you have an in-person hearing, it will take place in a courtroom that is much smaller than a courtroom you would see at a county courthouse. There will be an administrative law judge, a court reporter, and a vocational expert in the courtroom. The court reporter will swear you and the vocational expert in, and the hearing will begin. The administrative law judge will have already reviewed your file with all of your medical records and will ask you questions about your past work, your physical and mental limitations, your daily activities, and your social life. After you are done testifying, the administrative law judge will then ask the vocational expert hypothetical questions about what jobs a person with your disabilities could perform. You will then have a chance to cross-examine or ask the vocational expert follow-up questions. The Administrative Law Judge will not make a ruling at the end of the hearing. It typically takes three to six months to receive the final decision.
How to pay for a social security lawyer. We have had countless clients tell us they were hesitant to get a disability attorney because they could not afford one. Our fee is completely contingent on winning your case, which means we do not get paid unless you win. If you hire us, we will have you sign a fee agreement which allows us to collect 25% of the past-due benefits you are awarded, up to a maximum of $6,000.
Contact Deputy and Mizell, LLC to Schedule Your Free Consultation.
At Deputy and Mizell we know how challenging it is for our clients to live with disabilities that prevent them from working. We have the experience it takes to get the disability benefits that you deserve. We know this process can seem intimidating and frustrating. We always remind our clients not to get discouraged, that the process is more of a marathon than a sprint. It may take a long time to get your benefits if you are initially denied. But you will receive past-due benefits for the months you waited. Just know that at Deputy and Mizell you have a team that is there to help you through the entire process confidently and effectively. If you are thinking about applying for your Social Security disability at Lake of the Ozarks, please schedule a free consultation with us to see how we can help. To hear all the latest information and tips from our Central Missouri law firm, follow us on social media. The links to our channels are below.
Contact Deputy & Mizell, LLC to schedule your private (FREE) consultation today.
Representing Clients Across the Lake of the Ozarks Region