Even though Madison has been labeled as the best place to live in the United States, if you get struck with an illness or a debilitating injury and you can no longer work, it will not seem like it. If you cannot pay your bills, Madison’s nickname “Mad City” certainly will more accurately express your feelings about your situation. Luckily, you may be entitled to financial assistance from Social Security disability. However, it is a lengthy application process in which you may want legal representation to help you through.
A high percentage of initial Social Security disability benefit applications are denied by the Social Security Administration for one reason or another. Many cases proceed all the way to the final stage – a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge – through a lengthy and confusing appeals process. A disability attorney can guide you through the process and act as a liaison between you and the Social Security Administration as you work to get the monthly Social Security disability benefits that you need and deserve. Our staff at Chewning Legal has helped numerous claimants in the Madison area from start to finish through the Social Security disability benefits process and we are ready and available to help you too. We have also come on board at all levels of claims to help our clients no matter where in the application process they need assistance.
The disability application process is very lengthy. A decision by the Social Security Administration on your initial application takes approximately six months, or even longer. You must have sufficient medical evidence to support your disability claim and must satisfy the eligibility requirements in order to even apply for disability benefits. This includes providing medical records and other documentation from your treatment and healthcare providers. It sometimes helps to provide information from your friends or family as well. Even with all the medical evidence of your disability that you can muster, your Social Security disability claim application could still be denied by your disability examiner. You are expected to appeal a denial of your disability claim within 60 days of receiving your denial letter from the Social Security Administration. In Wisconsin, the initial disability determination on your claim is made at a state agency called the Disability Determination Bureau in Madison.
If you are denied at the initial application stage and you need to appeal, your case will proceed to reconsideration. A different Social Security disability examiner will re-evaluate your claim with any new evidence that you provide to the Social Security Administration since the initial filing of your disability application. Reconsideration decisions take approximately 6 to 9 months. Again, in the event that your disability claim is denied by the second examiner, you must appeal your denial within 60 days. This will lead you to the final stage in the application appeals process.
If you are denied reconsideration and appeal, your case will be scheduled for an appeal hearing. The Madison hearing office is just off the Beltline. There, several administrative judges hear cases appealed by disability claimants just like you. Again, you are expected to provide updated records and any new information about your health conditions that is pertinent to your disability claim being evaluated. At the appeal hearing, you will be questioned by an administrative judge who will take your physical limitations into consideration and present them to a vocational expert who will help him or her decide if you can perform certain jobs that meet your qualifications. Unfortunately, the wait time for an appeal hearing is approximately 12 to 18 months.
The Social Security Administration takes into account a number of factors when deciding whether or not a claimant is disabled for the purposes of Social Security Disability benefits. Some of these factors include whether or not the claimant is still able to work in some capacity, whether the claimant has multiple disabilities or medical conditions that renders them unable to work, how severe the disabling condition is, whether the applicant’s disability is expressly on the Social Security Administration’s medical conditions list, whether the applicant is capable of doing the same type of work as they did before sustaining the disability, and whether the applicant is able to perform some other type of work after the disability.
If your claim is successful, you will be awarded Social Security disability payments, which usually take the form of monthly checks. The amount of Social Security disability benefits you will receive depends on a number of factors, such as how long you worked during your life prior to becoming disabled, how much money you earned during your working life, and whether statutory caps apply to your disability benefit payments. Generally speaking, the more that you have paid into the Social Security system during your lifetime, the higher your disability benefits will be.
If you hire Chewning Legal to assist you with the Social Security disability claim application or appeals process, our experienced staff will help you to develop your file and guide you through the stages of the application and appeals process as necessary. If you disability claim is denied and appealed, Attorney Don Chewning will accompany you to your appeal hearing. He will be at your side when you are questioned by the judge. He will help determine what Social Security regulations apply to your case and will argue them to the judge. He has appeared in hundreds of cases before Social Security’s Administrative Law Judges and he can put his years of past experience to work for your benefit. We provide an individualized experience that many larger firms may not.
Chewning Legal offers the guidance you need in pursuit of your goal: To help you obtain monthly benefits from Social Security to alleviate the financial strain you are experiencing from being out of the work force.
We only charge legal fees if we are successful in obtaining you benefits. The Social Security Administration regulates those fees. The fees are based on your back benefits paid from the time you became entitled to disability benefits through the date of the decision, including the time spent during the lengthy time Social Security makes you wait for a determination. Give us a call to get started.