How long it takes to get Social Security Disability (SSD) in South Carolina depends on your situation. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), after submitting your claim, it could take three to five months to get a decision. Yet, the SSA denies nearly 67 percent of applications upon their first submission.
This could make getting benefits even longer. While you have the right to file an appeal, this is a multi-stage process that takes time. For that reason, you may consider partnering with a South Carolina Social Security Disability lawyer. They can help you navigate the application process and get the benefits you deserve.
How does the Social Security Disability Application Process Work?
To apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you can apply through:
- A local SSA agency: Apply in person at your nearest SSA field office.
- A phone call: You can dial in toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).
- An online form. Fill out an online application.
Before starting your application, gather your medical records and the contact information of your healthcare providers. After you apply, the SSA will review your application and render a decision within five months.
What Can I Do If My Claim Is Denied?
If your application is rejected, don’t worry; you can file an appeal to fight for the benefits you need. Your application may progress through a four-tiered appeals process. Your application can be approved at any time, meaning you might not progress through all four stages.
The appeals process entails:
Stage One: Reconsideration
If your claim was denied due to medical reasons, you should immediately file a “Request for Medical Reconsideration” within 60 days of receiving the SSA’s decision. A new disability examiner will be assigned to your case and review your application.
You can also submit a “Request for Non-Medical Reconsideration” if your claim was denied due to non-medical reasons, such as your income being too high, overpayments, and other factors. You should know the result of your claim within 100 days.
Stage Two: an Administrative Law Judge Hearing
If your claim is rejected again after the reconsideration phase, you may request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge. The location of your hearing will typically be within 75 miles from where you reside. The judge will examine your application and evaluate your request.
It can take a month for the judge to decide on your case. But the good news is many claims that reach this stage are approved for benefits.
Stage Three: Appeal Council Review
If the judge denies your claim, then you can request the SSA’s Appeal Council to review the decision. You have 60 days from receiving the judge’s decision to request an Appeal Council review.
Stage Four: Federal Court Review
You could file a lawsuit in South Carolina’s federal district court if the Appeal Council rejects your claim.
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How Can I Speed Up the Application Process?
Getting a disability claim approved can take some time. However, there are a few things you can do to strengthen your claim and promote an approval:
- Provide an exhaustive list of your medical treatment: The SSA will need documentation associated with emergency room visits, lab screenings, test results, hospitalization, and doctors’ appointments. Include the name of the physicians who provided the treatments, along with the addresses of the medical facilities you visited.
- Review all information for completion and accuracy. The SSA notes that many applications are denied because of technical errors. When filling out your application, make sure that you understand the information you’re providing. Giving the wrong information could delay your claim’s progression.
- Hire a Social Security Disability lawyer: Applying for Social Security disability benefits is more than filling out a few forms. A South Carolina Social Security disability lawyer can review your application and help you navigate the appeals process.
Begin Your Free Case Review with Our Social Security Disability Team
Filing for Social Security Disability benefits can be a long and convoluted process. Months can become years if you miss any deadlines or send the wrong information. You should not have to wait to access the benefits you deserve.
Our Social Security Disability lawyers at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC can help you fight for the benefits you need and deserve. We will manage the paperwork and explain what medical records could support your application. We will also serve as your legal counsel during hearings.