As with any case involving an injury, paperwork is required and deadlines are imposed. For Social Security Disability benefit applications, proper documentation and complete files are critical. The applicant has an opportunity to gather and structure evidence. Many disability applications are initially denied, which means applicants have a short window of time to file for reconsideration. However, even these reconsiderations can be denied. The next step is a recorded Administrative Law Judge hearing.
When a disability application reaches a judge, the judge reviews the applicant's file. The judge can only make their decision regarding the applicant's condition based on materials included in the file. There is a discussion process as well, which usually takes no more than an hour. "Once your appeals are exhausted, you can't submit new evidence," attorney Vance Jennings explained on a recent visit to "Making the Law Work for the People" at Fayetteville radio station WIDU 1600AM. Vance Jennings is one of less than 50 attorneys in North Carolina who is a Board Certified Social Security Disability Benefits Specialist Attorney. "Your chances are much higher of getting approved at a hearing," Jennings said. Of course, if the individual is denied again they could pursue a lawsuit, but this avenue could be avoided if the applicant's file had been structured effectively and included comprehensive evidence of the sickness, injury, or disability.
The current backlog for ALJ hearings could involve a wait time of 1-2 years. Because of the current government system for disability applications, some people can go more than two years with no job and no health insurance. Plus these individuals are managing emotional and physical disabilities. The stress this induces could prompt individuals to lose or sell their homes, accrue debt, and fail to get the treatments that they need.
To help minimize the lengthy disability application system, take prudent steps to fill the applicant's file with comprehensive details and evidence that substantiates their condition. It also helps to have a disability attorney review your case and advocate on your behalf. Our attorneys provide no cost case evaluations. Simply call our office 877-BRENT-ADAMS or complete a consultation request to schedule a meeting on our calendar.