A long-lasting illness or debilitating injury can seriously impede your ability to support yourself. Fortunately, programs like Social Security Disability (SSDI) may be available to help you during these challenging times. SSDI has its own unique requirements and often involves a lengthy process of applications, denials, and appeals. The O'Fallon, Missouri, law office of Blackwell & Associates, P.C. offers legal services for those applying for Social Security Disability.
Here, they'd like to share three important things to know about this federal program:
- Most First-Time Cases Are Denied: More than half of all applicants requesting SSDI for the first time have their claims denied. There is an appeals process in place that allows applicants the opportunity to challenge the decision and submit further evidence of their disability. Blackwell & Associates, P.C., has been providing legal services to help clients file SSDI appeals since the 1970s, and they know how to help you make the most effective presentation of your condition and the reasons you should receive benefits. That help includes aiding you in obtaining all of the relevant medical evidence, and in eliciting evidence and testimony so the Administrative Law Judge has an understanding of your illness and / or injury and how it effects your daily activities. This is essential in trying to obtain a determination that your are entitled to benefits.
- A Lawyer May Help Your Claim: Many SSDI applicants will
submit their applications on their own through their local Social Security
office, and some may be placed on benefits. However, many are also denied based on the determination made on that initial application. After that initial denial, a denied applicant will want to consider
hiring a lawyer on a contingent fee, which means there will not be a fee unless your appeal is successful. Your attorney at Blackwell & Associates, P.C., will help you as mentioned above, compiling all of the necessary documentation, medical evidence, and proof of your illness. The attorney will discuss your condition with you, and how the illness, injury, treatments and medication effects you and your daily life. The attorney will explain to you what to expect at the hearing, and go over anticipated questions and your testimony. Your appearance before an Administrative Law Judge at a
Social Security Disability hearing is usually the only time you get to appear and testify under oath about your illness or injury, and condition in general, and it is your best chance to establish the
seriousness of your condition. Be sure to make it count.
- SSDI Payments Don't Start Right Away: It's important to remember that Social Security Disability benefits do not start immediately after you are approved. Processing your initial application generally takes anywhere from three to six months. An appeal may be on file with the hearing office for a year or more before a hearing is set. If you are approved for SSDI, your first payment will be for the sixth full month after the effective date of your disability, as determined by Social Security.
Call Blackwell & Associates, P.C., at (636) 614-1771 to learn more about their legal services for Social Security Disability applicants. You can also visit them online to explore their other practice areas. Get the affordable legal representation you need to appeal your SSDI denial by contacting Blackwell & Associates, P.C., today.