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SSD Process

How to File a Social Security Disability Claim

There are several ways to get started: 1.) Call 1-800-772-1213. That's the Social Security disability phone number where they will usually set an appointment for you to make an application over the telephone. 2.) However, the Social Security Administration prefers that you apply online; 3.) You can go to a Social Security district office for your region (i.e: Syracuse, Oswego, Binghamton, Auburn, Rome, Utica). While you do not need a lawyer to apply for or collect benefits, a lawyer can simplify the gathering of information and assist in the online application process, as well as explain the process and benefits. Our office can also help you through the online application process, to assure that your application is complete. If you have questions, you are welcome to talk to an attorney at the Iaconis Law Office in Chittenango, New York. We serve clients throughout the Syracuse area.

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Despite medical information supporting disability, many applications are denied the first time unless the disability is immediately obvious.

  • When you send in your application, a case worker will determine if the necessary information is there. Some caseworkers can be especially helpful in making sure you have the information needed. The caseworker will usually request information from all of the medical sources that you have identified.
  • Your file will then be forwarded for a medical review that will check the application against specific conditions listed in federal law as disabling if the symptoms are at a required level of seriousness, such as paraplegia, quadriplegia, severe peripheral neuropathy, advanced cancer, advanced diabetes, etc. If they are not, the application goes to the next step.
  • The next step is an examination by one or more physicians or specialists employed by a state disability agency. The doctor will do a quick, 10-15-minute exam that will generally find only the most obvious physical and mental abnormalities, such as difficulty walking, g.htmling, bending, sitting, lack of muscle strength and lack of nerve response. The doctor will then do a medical report which identifies the diagnoses, but usually provides vague descriptions of the applicant's physical and/or mental abilities.
  • A state agency analyst will review all information gathered by the case worker, as well as the medical report to "determine" the physical and medical evidence of limitations that would apply to your work environment: Can you do your former job? Can you do any other work? How much work and what kind of work? They will consider your age, education, past work experience. Can you transition into another type of work?
  • Send in your application as soon as you realize that your disability is long term. At our law office, we know that is a hard determination to make. Many people attempt to go back to work after short-term disability ends, but soon find out that they cannot work. A brief attempt to return to work which is unsuccessful may not disqualify you from Social Security programs.
  • Social Security disability is a wage-earner plan. By paying into FICA and Medicare from every paycheck, you earned SSD benefits.
  • SSI is for those who have never had a consistent work history and meet asset and income limitations. Supplemental Security Income is a safety net for disabled people who have not earned SSD benefits and who are living below the federal poverty line.

Most people are denied on their first application. If you want to file an appeal, contact an experienced Social Security disability lawyer at the Iaconis Law Office. We know how hard this is for you, and we are prepared to help.