If you are getting ready to apply for Social Security disability, then here is a basic guide to help get you started:
1. Getting Approved for SS Disability is Challenging
Here’s a statistic that might shock you: seven out of ten disability claims in the state of Mississippi are denied at the initial stage. What this means is that you must present a compelling case to the state to receive benefits. Keep in mind that you are one of thousands of other applicants who are applying for disability each year. For this reason, the requirements are strict and the application process is drawn out. When applying for SS benefits, your wisest course of action is to hire an attorney who can present your case with clarity and hard evidence so that your chances of getting approved are much greater.
2. Denied Applicants Can Appeal Their Case
If you are denied disability, you can appeal to the courts. Although this is a lengthy and complicated process, it may be worth it in the end. The state of Mississippi has set up a first stage appeal known as the Request for Reconsideration. Sadly, the Social Security Administration also denies over 80% of these claims. The good news, however, is that the appeal does not end there. If you are confident that you are a candidate for disability, then you can take your case before an Administrative Law Judge who will review your case.
3. Initiate Patience and Reasonable Expectations
When applying for social security disability, you must be patient and prepared. Your chances of receiving this benefit within a month or two are slim at best. The entire procedure looks something like this:
- The initial stage will take three to four months to complete.
- If you are denied, then the repeal process will take another three to four months (in some cases, it can take longer).
- If you are denied a second time, it may take one to two years for you to appear before an administrative law judge. Why does it take so long? The offices handling your case are also handling thousands of other cases. Applying for SS disability is a first come first serve multi-tiered progression.
4. Where to Apply for Social Security Disability
The Office of Disability Adjudication (ODAR) handles social security applications. There are three regional locations in the state of Mississippi that schedule disability hearings in specified cities. Below is a list of the ODAR offices and the cities or counties that they serve. Find the city you live in, and you’ll know which office to apply to.
Hattiesburg, Mississippi – Biloxi, Brookhaven, Columbia, Forest, Gulfport, Pascagoula, Hattiesburg, Laurel, McComb, Meridian and Philadelphia.
Jackson, Mississippi – Cleveland, Greenville, Greenwood, Jackson, Kosciusko and Vicksburg. It takes this office an average of 427 days to schedule a disability hearing.
Tupelo, Mississippi – Clarksdale, Columbus, Corinth, Grenada, Olive Branch, Starkville and Tupelo. It takes this office an average of 559 days to schedule a disability hearing.
Should You Hire an Attorney to Re-Apply?
If you are denied social security disability after your first attempt, you’re going to find that it’s an uphill climb to reverse the decision. You could spend the next three years buried in paperwork only to arrive at the same conclusion. To avoid facing disappointment, your best bet is to hire an attorney. An experienced Social Security Disability lawyer can do all the paperwork for you, simplify (and possibly speed up) the process, and make sure that the law works in your favor instead of against you. An attorney can gather medical evidence to help you support your claims. By seeking legal representation, your chances of getting approved are much greater.
Take the first step toward applying for Social Security Disability and come and talk to the experienced lawyers at Mestayer & Associates. With a no-risk, free consultation, you can be sure to get your questions answered instead of worrying about your disability benefits during a lengthy application process. We are here to help you get the funding you need when you are out of work. Call us today at 228-762-1193.
Mestayer Law Firm provides civil litigation for clients throughout the Gulf Coast area including Pascagoula, Biloxi, and Gulfport. If you are making future plans for your estate, then contact us today and let us help take care of every detail of your finances. Call us today at 228-762-1193 or visit www.pascagoulalaw.com. We are your legal experts! You can also visit our office located at 2128 Ingalls Ave. in Pascagoula, Mississippi. We look forward to talking with you!
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This article does not create an attorney-client relationship. I am licensed to practice law in Mississippi and have based the information presented on US laws. This article is legal information and is for entertainment and informational purposes only and should not be seen as legal advice. You should consult with an attorney before you rely on this information. Any information provided in this blog is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge, but that there may be omissions, errors, or mistakes.