Mike Wells: Are you applying for disability benefits? Get ready to wait. | local – Community News
Social Security

Mike Wells: Are you applying for disability benefits? Get ready to wait. | local

Factors taken into account are age, education, relevant past work experience, years worked and salary received.

There are a number of disabilities through which you can receive benefits. Some examples, and this is a non-exclusive list, are: respiratory problems, chronic heart disease, obesity, mental disorders, blindness or deafness, rheumatoid arthritis, seizures despite drug use, cancer, immune system disorders, extreme psoriasis of the hands and feet, multiple sclerosis, HIV positive and other serious medical conditions.

What is the procedure for applying for disability benefit?

First application (1st level). This can be done over the phone by contacting the Social Security Administration (www.ssa.gov). It takes about three months to hear from the SSA. A significant number of claims are initially rejected.

Reconsideration (2nd level). This is an appeal to the initial denial and involves filling out a form provided by the SSA. This will take a few more months. Many claims are also rejected at this level.

Hearings (3rd level). This is often the most important stage. Hearings are held by federal administrative judges in Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte. Medical evidence, along with letters from doctors, is essential for a favorable outcome.

An administrative judge will review your case based on the medical evidence you have submitted and determine whether you are “disabled” under the law. It is a five step process.