352-728-5552
Cooper's Consulting Group

Social Security Assistance

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will the process take?

There are many factors that impact the length of time the process will take.
Considering such factors as:
  • The nature of your disability
  • How quickly we can obtain your medical evidence from your doctor or other medical sources
  • Whether it is necessary to send you for additional medical examinations

But generally speaking it takes at least three to five months to get a decision on your disability application.

What do I do if Social Security denies my claim for SS disability?

When Social Security makes a decision on your application, they will send a letter explaining the reasons for their decision. If you do not agree with their decision, you can appeal. That is, you can ask them to look at your case again.  Appeals must be made within 60 days from the date the decision letter was received.

Do I need and Advocate or an Attorney?

The Social Security Disability process can be very stressful and time consuming. So while you do not need an advocate or an attorney having one will make the process easier and less complicated for you.

How do I appeal a denial?

Described below is what happens when you request a review of the determination made on your disability case:
  • You send a signed request for appeal to Social Security Disability 
  • They review your request to verify that all of the information is complete. They may contact you for missing or unclear information
  • They will contact you to complete a disability report and possibly to sign medical release forms. Once the report has been submitted it will be reviewed to ensure all of the information is complete
  • They will then transfer your case to the office that determines if you are disabled under the Social Security laws
  • That office may request any new medical records that you may have listed on your medical report
  • That office may review all of your medical records: both old and new
  • If you have requested a face-to-face review, that office will schedule an appointment to meet with you. You will have an opportunity to meet face-to-face with someone from the office that decides your case 
  • The decision-making office will notify you in writing of their decision on your case
 
There are four possible steps in the disability appeals process. They must be completed in the order listed below.
 
Reconsideration:
You should complete a Request for Reconsideration and an Appeal Disability Report. Both forms can be completed on the Internet, and submitted electronically to Social Security, or you can complete paper versions and send them to your local Social Security office. No matter how you complete the forms, Social Security will send your case to the State Disability Determination Services office. Someone there will review your medical records and make a new determination about your disability. It will not be the person who made the last determination on your case. After reviewing your medical records, they will notify you in writing of their decision.
 
Hearing:
You should complete a Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge and an Appeal Disability Report. Both forms can be completed on the Internet, and submitted electronically to Social Security, or you can complete paper versions and send them to your local Social Security office. No matter how you complete the forms, Social Security will send your request to the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. If you want to meet face-to-face with the judge, an appointment will be made for you. After talking with you and your representative, the judge will notify you in writing of his/her decision on your case.
 
Appeals Council Review:
You should complete a Request for Review of Decision/Order of Administrative Law Judge. You cannot do this on the Internet. Sign and send it to your local Social Security office. They will send your request to the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. Someone there will review your medical records and notify you in writing of the decision on your case.
 
District Court Case:
You must have an attorney at this level of appeal. He or she must file a case against Social Security in District Court. Your case will be heard by a district court judge who will notify you in writing of the decision on your case.

My doctor says I am disabled so why is Social Security denying my Social Security disability claim?

Social Security Disability benefits are approved or denied based on a number of factors. Each case is unique and needs to be considered on it's own merit. Your doctor may or may not know all of the current requirements that satisfy the criteria to receive Social Security Disability benefits.

What documents do I need to provide?

You may be asked to provide the following documents to show that you are eligible:
  • Birth certificate or other proof of birth
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the United States
  • U.S. military discharge paper(s) if you had military service before 1968
  • W-2 forms(s) and/or self-employment tax returns for last year
  • Medical evidence already in your possession. This includes medical records, doctors' reports, and recent test results
  • Award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements or other proof of any temporary or permanent workers' compensation-type benefits you received

Is there an age requirement?

To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must have worked long enough in jobs covered by Social Security (usually 10 years). Then, you must have a medical condition that meets Social Security's definition of disability.

What are the Compassionate Allowance Conditions?

Social Security has special rules, Compassionate Allowances, so they can provide benefits quickly to people whose medical conditions are so serious that they obviously meet disability standards.

Click here for more information.

What can I expect if my claim is approved?

Social Security Disability will send you a letter telling you that your application is approved, the amount of your monthly benefit, and the effective date. Your monthly disability benefit is based on your average lifetime earnings. Your first Social Security disability benefits will be paid for the sixth full month after the date your disability began.
 
Here is an example:
If the state agency decides your disability began on January 15, your first disability benefit will be paid for the month of July. Social Security benefits are paid in the month following the month for which they are due, so you will receive your July benefit in August.

If approved, what will my benefit payment be?

The formula used to compute benefit payments is extremely complicated and cannot be summarized effectively. But generally speaking, the more you earn, the more you receive.

Click here for more information.

What happens after I apply?

After you have submitted your request for Social Security Disability benefits, the Social Security Disability benefits office will:
  • Provide confirmation of your application - either electronically or by mail
  • Review the application
  • Contact you if additional information or documentation is needed
  • Inform you if other family members may be able to receive benefits on your record, or if you may be able to receive benefits on another person’s record, such as your spouse or your parent
  • Process your application
  • Mail their decision to you