Are you unable to work because of your health or have you already been denied for Social Security Disability in the past? If so, read on for how a Smithfield NC Social Security Disability Lawyer can help with your case in front of the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Facts about Smithfield, NC

  • The local Social Security Office is located at 633 Venture Drive in Smithfield. Their phone number is (800) 772-1213.
  • According to SSA, as of December 2016, 3,742 people in Johnston County received Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • If you live in Smithfield and have to go to a SSA hearing, your hearing will be held at the Raleigh OHO at 3315 Poole Rd, Suite 200.
  • If you are unable to afford food or shelter, you can try Johnston County Social Services for help.
  • Disabled individuals in Smithfield without health insurance or Medicaid can try one of the Johnston County Free Clinics for treatment.
  • We usually meet our Smithfield Social Security Disability clients near the Carolina Premium Outlet.

Six truths about applying for Social Security Disability

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Truth#1 – This is not a quick process. Unfortunately, most people are denied at the first two levels (Initial and Reconsideration) by Disability Determination Services (DDS). You may have heard stories of people who were approved in a few weeks or months. While those approvals do happen, most claimants have to go to a hearing to have their case approved. Some people have to go beyond a hearing to the Appeals Council or even District Court.

Truth #2 – You MUST get medical treatment. If you cannot afford medical treatment, you must do everything that you can to obtain medical treatment while you wait for your hearing. You should apply for Medicaid, try low cost clinics in your area, seek charity care and go to the emergency room if you have to. Going in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) without medical records and no attempts to obtain medical treatment spells denied claim. Sick people go to the doctor.

Truth #3 – Having your doctor’s support can really help your case. Your doctor is the best source of information about your health. If your doctor supports your disability and documents reasons for this in his/her medical records, this can help your case.

Truth #4 – Honesty is the best policy in dealing with SSA. Be honest about everything. It helps your case now and later.

Truth #5 – Any evidence that is given to the SSA should be organized, complete, and readable.

Truth #6 – If you are able to represent yourself through the disability process (fill out paperwork, get all your medical records, represent yourself at hearing, etc), why can’t you work a job?

How can a Smithfield NC Social Security Disability Lawyer help?

Since most people are denied at DDS (around 70%), the best strategy is to give DDS everything that they need as soon as possible and appeal denials quickly. Also, calling DDS for status helps to prevent your case from gathering dust on someone’s desk. The Bishop Law Firm will communicate with your examiner and let you know if they need anything from you as soon as possible. We will also appeals denials as soon as we can. We realize that a week can make a huge difference to someone who is without income. We can also advise you of places to try to get free or reduced cost medical care and where to apply for charity care, medicaid and get free medications, etc.

A letter from your doctor saying that you are “permanently disabled” or “unable to work” will not help your Social Security Disability case. Your doctor needs to give specifics about your health restrictions and what causes those restrictions. An experienced Smithfield NC Social Security Disability Lawyer knows what questions to ask and will give you forms to take to your doctor to get the opinion we need to support your case. In addition to getting your doctor’s opinion, we will order your medical records for you. We will receive and submit your medical records electronically to SSA ensuring a complete record with names and dates of your treatment.

Representing yourself through this process can result in disaster. Some people do win their cases who represent themselves, but unfortunately the clients that come to me after trying to represent themselves have very incomplete and disorganized files. How can you expect the SSA to approve you without having all the information they need?

Kimberly D. Bishop, Attorney at Law, is a NC State Bar Board Certified Social Security Disability Lawyer. Our firm does not get paid unless we win your case AND you receive back-pay. While no one can guarantee a win in your case, it can help you to have an Smithfield NC Social Security Disability Lawyer on your side who knows the law and your case. Call us today for a free case evaluation at (919) 615-3095.