What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips ó how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Hiring a Qualified Disability Lawyer in Georgia
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
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: SSDRC, or the Questions, Tips, Advice page
Questions and Answers about Social Security Disability and SSI Disability
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Tips and Advice for Social Security Disability and SSI Claims