Overview of Disability
Disability Back Pay
Requirements for Disability
Applications for disability
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after a Denial
Mental Disability Benefits
Denials for Disability
Appeals for denied claims
Disability Benefits from SSA
Child Disability Benefits
Qualifications and How to Qualify
Working and Disability
Disability Awards and Notices
Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys
Social Security List of Conditions
What Social Security considers disabling
Medical Evidence and Disability
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSD SSI Definitions
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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Hiring a Qualified Disability Lawyer in Georgia
Claimants who are represented on disability claims in Georgia tend to have a higher rate of approval, a need for fewer appeals, and more favorable "dates of onset" (the date the disability is proven to have begun) that lead to higher back pay benefits.
Representation may be through a disability lawyer or a specialized non-attorney disability representative. Many non-attorney reps are former Social Security Administration Claims Specialists and Disability Examiners with an extended history of working from within the federal system.
A qualified disability representative will have a knowledge of Social Security administrative law, particularly with regard to how claims are approved through the Social Security listings and the medical vocational grid rules. A qualified and competent disability representative or lawyer will also be skilled in the ability to obtain the most relevant case evidence, analyze it correctly, and incorporate it as part of a winning strategy for a claim.
To learn about fees for representation, see: "How do disability lawyers get paid?"
Filing for SSD or SSI is a difficult process no matter where you live, and the disability determination process follows pretty much the same pattern in each state: An individual files for disability benefits, waits three to four months for a decision, only to be denied; the individual then files a reconsideration appeal with disability determination services, waits several more months for a decision, and is denied; then finally the claimant can make a request to have their claim heard before an administrative law judge, which is, surprisingly, the best chance for approval of their claim throughout the entire process.
However, it can take up to a year before the case is heard (the great increase in the number of people filing for disability benefits has created backlogs in every state). While it is true that some individuals filing for disability are approved fairly quickly, that is not the norm, and is certainly not the norm in Georgia. The fact is, statistics are pretty consistent in demonstrating that the majority of applicants will have to wait a long time before they see any actual disability income, if they see any at all.
If you live in Georgia and are filing for SSD or SSI, you should keep in mind that in your state you are even less likely to win benefits than applicants in other states. With odds like this, you should strongly consider retaining a disability attorney or non-attorney rep. You may even want to consider this at the outset of your case, rather than waiting until you have been twice denied by disability determination services.
An experienced attorney can help you get your medical records together, as well as your work history, and make sure that you start out with the strongest evidence possible, and take some of the stress out of the process for disability applicants who may already be overstressed from struggling with the physical or mental symptoms caused by their medical condition.
Those who choose not to retain a disability lawyer when they first file for disability will definitely want to revisit their decision if their claim is deniedóclaimants who are represented by a lawyer at a disability hearing are statistically more likely to win benefits than those who choose to go it alone.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria