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Simplifying the Social Security Application Process

No one wants to be out of work, but for some unlucky people, a physical or mental disability makes working for a living impossible. Fortunately for many who suffer from disabilities, the Social Security Administration has two programs to help the disabled with income and medical care; but dealing successfully with this unwieldy bureaucracy is often more effective when you use a Social Security Disability lawyer.

SSI And SSDI: Similar Benefits; Different Requirements

The two SSA programs are Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). They offer similar benefits, but their requirements are different. A disabled person lacking income and assets will apply for SSI, which is based on your financial need, even if you’ve never worked in your life. On the other hand, if you have been working and contributing to the Social Security system, you should apply for SSDI.

Qualifying for any type of Social Security Disability benefits is a difficult and painstaking process. A majority of people who apply on their own are denied on their initial application. Unfortunately, many applicants give up at this point, which is a mistake. With the assistance of an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer, you may be able to qualify for the benefits you need on appeal. Be prepared for a long, drawn-out process, however. The SSA generally has a long backlog of appeals, but a good lawyer with plenty of experience dealing with this cumbersome government agency can often hurry things along. It is preferable to bring an attorney on board before submitting your first application for the best results.

The Five-Part Disability Analysis

The Social Security Administration applies a five-part analysis to determine if you qualify for benefits. They will determine if

  • you are now working at a “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) and bringing in an income of more than $1040 a month;
  •  if you have a “medically determinable” impairment that seriously limits your activities, which you will need to document with medical records and lab tests;
  • if your impairment is one of the conditions itemized in the Code of Federal Regulations, commonly called the “Bluebook;”
  • if you have any “residual functional capacity” (RFC), which is anything you may be able to do in spite of your impairment;
  • if you do have some RFC, the kind of work might you be capable of doing with proper retraining.

Professional Legal Assistance Can Speed Up the Process

The Social Security Disability application process is difficult, time-consuming, and frequently frustrating, often employing vague or ambiguous language that can be confusing to the uninitiated. That’s why you need a lawyer who regularly practices Social Security law. Other lawyers sometimes even have trouble figuring out what the SSA is looking for, so make sure the lawyer you pick has Social Security Disability as a primary practice area.

If your first application is denied – and this happens more often than not – your next step is to appeal the decision. This typically takes a long time, often a year or more, which can leave you without income or much-needed medical care for a very long time. Hiring an attorney who regularly helps clients apply for Social Security Disability benefits can accelerate the process in some cases. If your physical or mental disability keeps you from being able to deal with this long, complicated process yourself, having a good lawyer is even more important. The bottom line is that overall, disability applicants represented by dedicated Social Security Disability lawyers win benefits much more often and in less time than those who attempt to navigate the system on their own.

Free Social Security Disability Consultation

In Arizona, if you are disabled and can no longer work, the law firm of Gorman Law Group, PLC, can help you complete your initial application properly, and if necessary, will represent you on appeal. We will fight for your benefits, taking the battle to every possible level to win your approval for the benefits you require. Call today at 623-278-6102 for a complimentary consultation with one of our highly skilled and experienced Social Security Disability attorneys. We have offices in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Sun City and Sun City West for your convenience.