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The SSDI Application Process

Pittsburgh Social Security Disability Lawyer

If you have been actively employed within the past 10 years, you have paid into the federal Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) system and are eligible to apply for benefits in the event you become disabled because of an injury or illness. Most people applying for SSDI benefits soon learn, however, that the process is complicated and frustrating. Some statistics indicate that as much as 80 percent of initial claims are denied, with a significant number of appeals rejected, as well.

At Dallas W. Hartman, P.C., with offices in New Castle, Hermitage, Butler and Erie, Pennsylvania, offers a complete range of services to help people receive the SSDI benefits they need and deserve.

Understanding the Process

In order to receive SSDI benefits if you are no longer able to work, you must complete an SSD application, including a disability report signed by your medical professional. If you choose to apply for SSDI without the assistance of an attorney, you must first schedule an appointment with your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office to discuss your claim and submit your application. You may also file your application at the SSA Website or by telephone.

If you choose to have an attorney at Dallas W. Hartman, P.C., handle your application, we will require some information about your health and finances, including:

  • Social Security number
  • Birth certificate or other formal proof of live birth
  • Doctor’s name, hospital where you received treatment for your disability or illness
  • List of prescription medications
  • Any medical records you may have in your possession. If none, we will obtain them for you.
  • List of medical labs where you have any test results on record
  • Job or professional career history
  • Recent tax forms, if you have them available

Time Requirements

There is a 12-month waiting period from the time of you were able to last report to work and when you are eligible for SSDI benefits. Do not wait 12 months to file your application. As soon as you know you cannot return to work because of your disability or illness, begin the application process. When the 12 months are over, your application will be in the system and ready for consideration by the SSA.

What the SSA Does With Your Application

The SSA will review your application to determine whether you meet their basic criteria for benefits. Do not expect your initial application to be accepted — very few are. There will probably be some technical matter that causes your application to be rejected. Many are rejected just to see if the applicant gives up. At Dallas W. Hartman, P.C., we don’t give up. We work with the SSA to determine what issues need to be cleared up and what you need to do to meet their expectations.

When your application has been accepted, it will be sent to the SSA Disability Determination Services Office. The authorities, medical experts and disability specialists will review the specifics of your case to determine whether you can return to your former job or can be retrained for another job in another line of work. This stage of the process often takes many months, as the authorities request further information for review and interview your doctor and other medical and vocational specialists. During this part of the process, you may be required to undergo a medical and occupational examination to determine the extent of your disabilities. Your lawyer will help you prepare for every stage of the determination process.

Learn more about SSI and SSDI at these information pages:

Free Consultation · No Attorneys’ Fees If You Don’t Receive SSDI Benefits

Learn more about the SSDI application process. We represent clients in communities throughout the Greater Northern Pittsburgh metro region and throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio. Call us toll free at 1-800-777-4081 or contact us by e-mail to arrange a free consultation with an experienced Pittsburgh SSDI application process today.

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