Filing for disability is not an easy process. That is why many applicants need a Disability Attorney in Olympia WA. Attorneys understand the rules of the Social Security Administration, which makes the process easier. First and foremost, applicants must know what program to file under.
SSDI And SSI Are Different Programs
Applicants who paid FICA and social security taxes should file SSDI. On the other hand, SSI is a needs-based program for disabled persons. Applicants cannot have more than $2,000 in assets or $3,000 for a couple. Further, SSI applicants must not have a lot of income.
Meeting The Medical Requirements
Each state has a Disability Determination Services (DDS) office. The DDS office reviews each application to see if applicants meet medical and vocational requirements. Initially, applicants must have a disabling condition that prevents them from working. Additionally, the condition must be expected to last for twelve months or end in death.
A Disability Attorney in Olympia WA advises clients to file as soon as they know their condition is severe. It takes six months to get an initial determination, so it is best to start early. If the initial application is denied, the applicant begins the appeal process. Unfortunately, appeals can last for years.
There Are Different Levels Of Appeals
Applicants who are turned down after the initial application must file a Request For Reconsideration. During this appeal, the case is assigned to a new reviewer in the DDS office. The new reviewer goes through the application again and generally rubber stamps the decision. After a second denial, the applicant files a Request For A Hearing.
It may take longer than a year for a hearing to be scheduled. This is due simply to the huge volume of applications received. The hearing will eventually be scheduled before an administrative law judge. The applicant’s attorney is allowed to present witnesses and evidence supporting a disability. Further, the attorney gets to question the state’s medical and vocational experts.
Applicants denied after a hearing must file with the Appeals Council. Attorneys advise clients to file a new application simultaneously. That is because it takes a year or longer to receive a Council decision. Attorneys urge potential applicants to visit our website and schedule a consultation.