Does Applying Online For SSD Benefits Suffer From A Lack Of Interaction?

It depends on the seriousness of the condition. There are many conditions that are very serious, but there are no outward signs of disability. For example, a number of folks that I have represented over the years had serious stage 3 and stage 4 cancer; and if you looked at them, you wouldn’t be able to tell that they were sick at all. Those are the folks that I would want to file by phone so that the negative implication by observation, so to speak, is not used against them in deciding their case.

The initial claim usually is made within three to five months from the date of the application. If the claim is denied, then the next step is a hearing before an administrative law judge. That can take as long as 18 months. Having some advice, before you file, can be very important in getting a claim that has serious and obvious limitations. Those are the folks that should be counseled before they even file.

What Is The Information To Have On Hand When Applying For SSD Benefits Online?

You should bring a list of your doctors, a list of hospitalizations, how long you’ve been off work and if you’ve lost a lot of time off work over the previous year prior to filing for benefits. For example, since there is a five-month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits, you want to claim the earliest possible onset date that you can; and if you’ve been quite debilitated over the past year because of your condition or combination of conditions, it may be possible to use an earlier date of onset, not necessarily the last day of work. The earlier the onset date, the quicker the benefits begin because there is a built-in, five-month waiting period from the date of onset.

You want to get as early an onset date as you can; and if there has been a chronic illness or recurrent hospitalizations, you want to make sure you use the date that you actually were unable to work so that all subsequent attempts to work up to the date of application should be considered unsuccessful work attempts. It can make a big difference in the amount of benefits that would accrue to the claimant.

Can I Speak To A Social Security Representative If I Have Applied For SSD Benefits Online?

If you apply online, what you’re going to receive in the mail is a summary of what you’ve submitted online. They actually need a “wet signature” from the applicant, meaning an original signature. No claim can be processed until they actually receive from the applicant a signed original application, indicating that they want to file for benefits.

How Long Does The Decision Process Take For Each Of The Application Methods?

The initial phase, i.e., the initial claim or the initial decision, is made by the Disability Determination Service. On average, they can take anywhere from three to six months to make the decision. It depends on the nature of the disability, whether there were hospitalizations during the course of the investigation and whether the doctors have been cooperative in furnishing records. But generally, on average, it’s anywhere from three to six months.

What Are The Available Remedies If My Application Is Denied?

If you don’t have an attorney, now is the absolute time you want to get a representative to file on your appeal. The appeal process is your best opportunity for being approved for benefits because this is your only chance in the entire process where you are actually going to be in the same room with an individual that is a judge, who can grant you benefits. Up until now, the people who have been deciding your case are folks who have never laid eyes on you, so definitely rather than start over, you want to get an attorney, who is experienced and can file that appeal in a timely manner.

That appeal must be filed within 60 days of the date of your denial notice, and the bad news is it can take quite some time before that hearing is going to be scheduled. But definitely, that’s what you want to do because this is going to be the only opportunity you will have to be in front of someone who has the authority to grant you benefits.

Does The Manner Of Application Impact The Decision Of The Judge?

Probably, the one-time where you’re really going to see that is during the in-person interview because the claims representative, who is going to interview the applicant, does have some significant input in assessing how credible the claimant is. A lot of folks can overstate their case, and that usually is a big mistake. The thing you want to bear in mind is if you definitely have demonstrative evidence of disability, if someone off the street would look at you and say, “My God, this person is sick and is really having a hard time,” it is absolutely essential that you file in person.

On the other hand, if you have a debilitating condition, such as a serious heart ailment, uncontrolled diabetes, uncontrolled hypertension, stage 2, 3 or 4 cancer, but outwardly you look relatively healthy and with no limitations, in those situations, you want to file either online or by phone.

Basic Tips On How To Successfully Apply For SSD Benefits

The best thing a person can do is contact an attorney, who specializes in Social Security or SSI, before you file. Having a plan, before going forward, is the smartest thing you can do. Another thing you can do is to make sure your doctors are on board. Do they agree or will they support your claim for disability? That’s very important. A third item to consider is don’t compare your case to anyone else’s because no two cases are ever the same. Each case has its own DNA, which is something that should be borne in mind.

The overwhelming recommendation I make is have a plan before you file and get assistance with that plan from someone who is knowledgeable, such as a Social Security attorney or a representative who is experienced with the Social Security system.

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