Social Security Application and Appeals Basics

Social Security Disability Lawyers

A disability is defined as any kind of mental or physical injury or disease that prevents you from working enough to support yourself for at least a year. It does not have to be a permanent disability. It just has to be limited to twelve or more months. Children can be considered disabled as well, but the analysis is more complicated. If you believe yourself or your child to be disabled, apply for SSD or SSI benefits immediately. You do not have to drain your savings before you apply.

If you think you are disabled, you may apply for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits. You may even apply for both under certain conditions. Our attorneys and legal staff at the Law Offices of Eric A. Shore will be able to help you determine which benefits you may be entitled to receive.

Need-to-Know Application Information:

Social Security Application and Appeals Basics

  • There are three main ways to apply: online at, by phone at 1-800-772-1213, or in person at your local Social Security office.
  • Our firm may be able to file for you. Call us to learn more!
  • Consider speaking with a lawyer before applying. A mistake at this stage could significantly delay the receipt of your benefits.
  • Be patient. Decisions can be reached in as little as three months, or they can take one year or longer. Failure to get medical treatment or to follow Social Security’s process may cause your case to be delayed even longer!
  • The Social Security Administration will determine whether or not you are disabled with a five part test:
    • Are you currently working?
    • Is your medical condition severe?
    • Does your medical condition meet or equal the requirements found in the “List of Impairments” set by Social Security?
    • Can you do the work you did before?
    • Can you do any other type of work?

Most applications are initially denied but do not give up. Many people that are legitimately disabled, but failed to meet the burden of proof, are denied benefits at the initial stages because of issues in presenting their case to the Social Security Administration. Our law firm files dozens of appeals every day. Your chances of winning increase at the hearing level. Having a lawyer at the hearing also statistically increases your chances of winning. If you have already applied and were denied benefits, do not be discouraged. You have the right to appeal this decision. Our attorneys and paralegals can help. You only have 60 days to appeal, so contact us online or call 1-800-CANT-WORK (1-(856) 433-6173) today.

Need-to-Know Appeals Information:

  • The application stage usually takes two to four months.
  • If the application is denied, the first step in an appeal is a Request for Reconsideration.*
  • Most cases are denied during a Request for Reconsideration.
  • If denied, you and your lawyer present your case at a hearing before an administrative law judge.
  • Most cases are won during the hearing with the administrative law judge.
  • If denied, you can present your case for review by the Appeals Council.
  • The total appeals process can take up to several years, but our firm’s goal is to win as quickly as possible.

* In most states, a Request for Reconsideration is required. In Alabama, Alaska, California (Los Angeles, North, and West Branches), Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, and Pennsylvania.), there is no Reconsideration level, and a Request for a Hearing is the next step after the initial denial.

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At the Law Offices of Eric Shore, our trusted and experienced attorneys can help you with different types of legal concerns. We can help you file a disability claim, seek compensation, or resolve labor and employment disputes. Our attorneys can help you resolve your legal issues and concerns. Schedule a consultation in any of our Philadelphia and New Jersey locations today!