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Don’t allow the US Social Security Disability Claims Process – a system that is meant to help – cause harm

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 61 million Americans have some kind of physical or mental disability. That translates as a whopping one in four or 26% of Americans.

Disability, therefore, is something that will, most likely, touch you or a loved one at some point in your life.

If you’re dealing with a disability and considering applying for Social Security Disability Benefits in Seattle or the surrounding area, you’re probably asking yourself: do I qualify?

With the cost of living rising, it’s more important than ever to know whether you’re entitled to disability benefits or not. Make sure you’re not missing out.

This blog will shed light on who is eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits – and how to apply and navigate America’s broken disability benefit system.

There’s no denying that it can be a daunting process but Sampson Dunlap LLP is here to help guide you along the road ahead.

What welfare programs are offered?

In America, disability benefits for most Americans are covered and paid for by a government agency, the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The SSA offers two programs – step forward Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Both programs are intended to provide a financial safety net for some of the most vulnerable people in our society, including disabled people and people with long-term health conditions.

Am I eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Each year millions of Americans apply for disability benefits, but only a portion of those applicants are approved.

That’s because, to qualify for either program – be it SSDI or SSI – you must meet the SSA’s definition of disability.

In a nutshell this means:

  • You must be suffering from a severe impairment
  • Your medical condition means that you are unable to work
  • You must have had or expect to have your medical condition for at least one year, or it’s expected to result in death

For your child to be found disabled:

  • Your child’s medical condition should seriously limit their activities
  • Your child’s medical condition(s) must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least 12 months or result in death

How do I apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?

We’re not going to mince words. Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits is an arduous process. Proving eligibility for benefits can take months if not years, and hundreds, if not thousands, of pages of medical evidence. America has some of the strictest eligibility standards in the world.

While it is possible to apply on your own, many individuals choose to get help from a trusted Social Security disability attorney as they embark on the complicated application process.

To lodge a Social Security Disability Claim, you’ll need to submit the following:

* A birth certificate or equivalent documentation
* Proof of status as a current U.S. citizen or lawful alien status if you were not born in the United States
* W-2 forms, or equivalent tax documents if self-employed, for the previous year
* Information on your medical treatment sources (name, address, telephone number, approximate treatment dates)
* Records of any and all workers’ compensation or other compensatory benefits you’ve received – both permanent and temporary ones

All the information you need to complete your disability claim can be found here.

Once you have all the paperwork in place, Social Security Disability Claims Applications can be filed online, by phone (1-800-772-1213; TTY 1-800-325-0778; 8am-7pm, Mon-Fri) or in person.

How long will it take for my Social Security application to be processed?

Annoyingly, there is no hard or fast rule. Some applicants can be approved in as little as 30 days. Others can wait in excess of a year before they receive a final decision.

One caveat: applicants who have severe medical conditions – think certain cancers and brain disorders – that clearly and obviously meet disability standards, and therefore require minimal, official medical records, are eligible for expedited review.

You can view Social Security’s list of Compassionate Allowances here.

What should I do if I am denied Social Security Benefits?

If you are denied social security benefits, please know that you are not alone. It’s not unusual for an initial claim for disability benefits to be denied.

According to the SSA, the average acceptance rate of initial applications is 22%, and approximately 63% of SSDI applications are rejected.

A denial doesn’t mean it’s time to give up trying to obtain the benefits you not only need, but deserve.

Often applications are thrown out not because the applicant doesn’t have a valid claim, but because they didn’t supply the SSA with enough information.

If your claim is denied, you can file for reconsideration – and have the SSA review your entire case again. The appeal must take place within 60 days of receiving notice of the SSA’s decision to turn down your claim.

The prospect of an appeal is something that many participants can’t contemplate, even if they feel the SSA’s verdict was inaccurate or unfair. Appealing means lengthening an already stressful and demanding process.

The silver lining is that reconsideration includes a right to representation, so a disability attorney is allowed to assist with the appeal. You don’t have to go it alone.

If your request for reconsideration is denied, you will need to appeal and have your case referred to an administrative law judge (ALJ). The judge will review your case and make a decision to either uphold the SSA’s decision or to overturn it and grant you disability benefits.

Can I get support when applying for Disability Benefits?

Absolutely. The welfare system is intended to provide a financial safety net for some of the most vulnerable people in our society – including disabled people and people with long-term health conditions.

However, a complex and stressful application process has led to this safety net failing, causing people to feel abandoned by a cruel and unfair system.

Participants have told us that they found the process of claiming stressful and anxiety inducing. In many cases, it made their health worse and destroyed their self-esteem and confidence. But you don’t have to do this by yourself.

A Social Security disability lawyer can support you through the entire process from the very start. At Sampson Dunlap, we have specialized in Social Security disability claims for 30 years and so are familiar with Social Security rules and regulations.

Our vast experience, knowledge and resources mean we know how to file your Social Security application in the most likely way to have benefits approved for you.

We can also offer advice on whether you have a valid claim, explain the system, cut through the complicated jargon, and take care of the confusing paperwork.

More than that, in Keith Kinzebach – a Sampson Dunlap Partner whose speciality is Social Security Disability cases – you have an invaluable ally in your battle to get the SSA to give you the financial security you deserve.

Keith explained: “We need Social Security Disability Benefits to provide greater support to disabled people so they can be free from poverty and despair, and live truly independent lives.

“Most other companies in the US are very big – if you call, you’ll never get to speak to an attorney.

“My way is a more personalised approach. I encourage my clients to call or text me when they need to. I formulate a plan straight away and aim, from the beginning, to win.”

But don’t just take Keith’s word for it. Ask ​​Adria Vizzi Holub – whose application for Disability Benefits was finally approved in January 2022 – thanks to Sampson Dunlap LLP, 12 long years after she filed her application.

“Attorney Keith Kinzebach never dropped my case,” shared Adria. “He is the most wonderful, supportive man.

“After 12-years, we are like family now. We exchange Christmas cards and, every time I called up for an update on my case, I knew I was talking to a friend.

“Were it not for Keith, there is no way I could have got through this process alone. I did not have the knowledge, nor the physical and emotional energy, to research, write and file appeal paperwork, or to represent myself in court.”

Check out what other clients have to say about Keith Kinzebach and Sampson Dunlap  here.

If you too are struggling with the Social Security Disability Claims process, speak with Sampson Dunlap today.

It’s time to get the benefits you deserve.

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Stop struggling with a system that does not care. We are here to support you. That is why you do not pay for our services until we win. Don’t wait any longer. Take control of your life and speak to our friendly team today.

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