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Social Security Disability Lawyer Charleston, SC: The Initial SSDI Application Process Explained

If you’re looking to apply for Social Security disability benefits in South Carolina, you need to fill out an application and then the Social Security Administration will review your claim. The information you provide in your application is very important because it determines whether the Social Security Office will approve or deny your need. But what’s involved in the application process? Here’s the initial Social Security Disability Insurance Application Process, Explained.


Social Security Disability Application Options

First of all, there are four different ways to apply:


It’s very important that your application is filed accurately as it can delay the process if there are discrepancies and errors. Applications that don’t have all of the required materials can be held up. 

One reason that you may want to go with an attorney when it comes to filing for your SSDI benefits is because people who are represented by attorneys are more likely to get approved than those who are not. 

ssdi attorney filing an application


What SSDI Questions Will You Be Asked?

However your file—whether it’s in person, with an attorney, or on your own—you’re probably wondering what kind of questions you are going to have to answer. Be prepared to answer questions about:

  • Your disability
  • Your age
  • Work history
  • Daily activities


You may also be asked to see a doctor independent from your primary care provider to provide a comprehensive exam. This depends on the Social Security Office, but be prepared for this option. You may also have to be examined more than once. 

You’ll also be asked to provide the following documents:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Social Security Number
  • List of medications
  • List of doctors/visits
  • Medical history
  • Detailed work history
  • Educational background
  • Your most recent W-2


After SSDI Application Submission

After you submit your SSDI application, the Social Security Office will then try to determine whether you’ve worked enough hours to receive SSDI benefits. If you meet the requirements, then the next step in your application process will be the Disability Determination Services department. This is the department that will have final approval or denial over your claim. 

Your approval or denial is based on the following information:

  • Medical evidence
  • Whether your disability is included in a list of the Social Security Listing of Impairments
  • Whether you were able to perform the work prior to your disability
  • Whether you are able to perform any of work at all


You will receive a letter notifying you of the decision, no matter whether you are approved or denied. If you are approved, the letter will include the amount of monthly benefits and when they will begin. If you are not approved, the letter will offer an explanation and details of what you can do to try to file an appeal. At this point, you will want to get an attorney involved in order to seek an approval from an appeal. 

judge hitting gavel at disability hearing


How Long Does It Take to Find Out?

When it comes to finding out about approval or denial, it typically takes three to six months. It might take less time for those who qualify for Social Security’s Compassionate Allowance program, aimed at patients with more severe disabilities. In this case, these people may receive their determination in less than a month.


Bottom Line

So how likely are you to be approved for SSDI benefits? The fact of the matter is that only 37 percent of SSDI applicants are typically approved. One way to improve your chances of approval is to hire a disability rights lawyer. Statistics show that people who apply for SSDI benefits with a disability attorney are three times more likely to be approved for disability benefits than those without an attorney. By enlisting the help of a disability attorney, you are able to cut out the confusion of doing it yourself and have someone behind you with the experience to get your claim heard efficiently and with the proper documentation and evidence needed to support your claim. 


More Information

If you think you might want to hire a disability lawyer to help you receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, contact Lowery Law Group of Charleston, SC at info@lowerylegal.com or call (843) 991-0733. There is no fee for a free consultation regarding your claim. Lowery Law Group is experienced in handling cases in South Carolina as well as Georgia.