Social Security Disability Benefits in South Carolina

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For many people who have been involved in a workplace accident, their injuries can have life-changing consequences. The lasting effects can leave a sufferer unable to resume their previous line of employment or sometimes unable to work at all. While a compensation payout can initially help to pay the bills, a regular source of income is still required.

First Steps

The first stage of making an application for Social Security Disability benefits is to check your eligibility. There are set criteria which will be assessed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) which states applicants must:

  • Have an impairment which will either last longer than a year or result in an expected premature death
  • Be incapable of performing your job due to the condition affecting your health and fitness
  • Be incapable of performing alternative employment due to your disability

Further to this, the applicant must have worked within the previous ten years and made contributions into the social security system. If you believe that you qualify for benefits against these stipulations, only then should you begin completing the paperwork.

Beyond the required accuracy of personal information, the most important factor is to collect as much supporting evidence as possible regarding your disability. Amongst other things, this should include historical medical records, notes and diagnoses from doctors, physiotherapists and any relevant specialists in addition to any other your official impairment rating.

Building a Strong Case

With thousands of applicants across South Carolina every year, the application itself can be a long and arduous process. The application process typically takes between three to four months, however, this is only the beginning for many applicants. Around 70% of all applications across the State are denied at the first attempt after having their case reviewed by the SSA.

To proceed with the application, a failed applicant can then appeal the decision by making an official request for reconsideration. This should include further evidence to support your claim, although statistically, only 20% of applicants at this stage find success.

The final option available is to then take the case to a disability hearing where an administrative law judge will preside over the claim. The biggest problem that faces South Carolina residents in this respect is the gestation period. Scheduling a court date takes a minimum of three hundred and thirty-eight days, with many people having to wait in excess of a year. From here there is a further wait of another three to four months to learn the verdict derived from the hearing.

Seeking Professional Assistance

Building the strongest possible application during the early stages of this process is vital to avoiding any unnecessary wait time. Using a specialized law firm such as Mickle & Bass can provide a huge advantage in securing a positive outcome.

A professional disability attorney offers first-hand knowledge in dealing with claims built upon years of experience upholding the rights of disabled clients. This can greatly help to structure and present your claim to give you the optimum chance of a positive verdict.

With many Social Security Disability attorneys in South Carolina working on a contingency basis and providing free consultations, they certainly provide an option worth considering. For most people, however, it’s an option which can increase their chances of success significantly.

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