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Disability Claims Process

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The Lowery Law Group
Phone  (843) 991-0733
Fax  (843) 628-4895

245 Seven Farms Drive
Suite 250
Charleston, SC 29492

What to Expect during the Social Security disability claims process

Need to Apply?
Let the Lowery Law Group use their experience to file your claim for you at no charge.

There are four different ways to submit a claim for disability benefits: (1) file through an attorney’s office, (2) file an application for Social Security disability online at https://www.ssa.gov/applyfordisability/, (3) set up an appointment with your local Social Security office to file over the telephone, or (4) set up an appointment with your local Social Security office to file in person. The Lowery Law Group will file your Social Security disability insurance claim for you at no charge through our office. We are careful to file your claim completely and accurately in order to present your case in the best way possible to examiners. The way in which your claim is filed may, in some cases, set you up for an earlier approval or if done incorrectly can result in delays and present difficulties throughout the duration of your case. Contact the Lowery Law Group today to learn more or discuss your case.

Initial Level

When the Social Security Administration receives an initial disability application it is first reviewed to see whether or not the applicant has worked enough to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits or meets the requirements for Supplemental Social Security Income. If the necessary criteria are met, the application is sent to a branch of Social Security called Disability Determination Services (DDS) for review.

The DDS office reviews the information provided with the application and collects medical documentation from your physicians. DDS will request information on your daily activities and additional information regarding your work history. If the examiner reviewing your case does not have enough medical documentation to make a determination, you may be referred for a consultative exam. The processing time at the initial level is approximately 6 months from the date you file your initial application.

social security disability claims process paperwork

Let the Lowery Law Group review your claim and file your appeal at no charge.

Reconsideration Level

If your initial disability application is denied, a request for reconsideration must be filed within 60 days of the initial denial notice.

At the reconsideration level, applications are reviewed by a different DDS examiner. During the reconsideration process you will want to provide updated information regarding visits to your doctor or information on any new treatment that you have received. You will again be asked to complete forms regarding your daily activities and work history. The processing time at the reconsideration level is approximately 6 months from the date you file your appeal.

Hearing Level

If your Social Security Disability claim is denied at the initial and reconsideration levels, you must file a request for a hearing within 60 days of the reconsideration denial. The majority of claims require a hearing, so if you have been denied at the first two levels do not become discouraged. The ability to sit down with a Judge and discuss your case in person with an attorney can make all the difference in getting an approval.

The wait time for a hearing at the Charleston office varies but hearings are usually scheduled within 8-12 months following a request for hearing. For detailed information on the wait times at each hearing office, please see https://www.ssa.gov/appeals/DataSets/01_NetStat_Report.html. When your hearing is scheduled you will receive at least 75 days notice to allow you and your attorney time to collect additional medical evidence and prepare for the hearing. It is important to have an attorney who knows your Judge’s preferences so that your case can be presented in the most effective way possible. At Lowery Law Group we conduct pre-hearing conferences well in advance of hearings where we will examine your file either over the telephone or in person, discuss sample questions, and review procedural issues so that you will be prepared as best as possible.

Your chances of success are greatly increased with proper legal representation at all levels of the application process. Call Lowery Law Group today to discuss your case at no charge.
Average Wait Time for a Hearing by Social Security Office


Judges’ Hearing Approval Percentages


How much will I receive in monthly benefits if my Disability Claim is Approved?


Learn more about The Social Security Disability Claims Process by reviewing this series of videos provided by The Social Security Administration:
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Schedule a NO FEE Social Security Disability claim consultation with Lowery Law Group today.