If you need a Social Security Disability Attorney in Durham, NC, The Bishop Law Firm can help with your case. In this article I will discuss the steps you need to take to get your claim started and how our firm can help you.
Social Security Disability has two main types of benefits: Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI is based on the credits from the work that you have done in your life while SSI is a need based program. Depending on your work history and finances, you may be able to apply for both or only one type of benefit. You must be found disabled by Social Security before you are entitled to either type of benefit.
Social Security Disability does not have percentages of disability. You are either disabled or not. SSA defines disability for adults as:
the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.
In order to win your disability case, you must be receiving health care that generates medical records (medical evidence). Medical evidence is essential to proving that you are disabled. If you are not receiving medical treatment for your impairments it will be very difficult to win your disability claim. If you are unable to afford medical treatment in Durham, you can apply for Medicaid at the Durham County Social Services, contact Lincoln Community Health Center, try MedAssist for your medicines and apply for Duke Charity Care. If you need mental health treatment you can try Mindpath.
Step One: Call The Bishop Law Firm at (919) 615-3095 and we will send you some information to get you started.
Step Two: File a claim at the local Social Security Office . The local office is at 3004 Tower Blvd, Durham, NC 27707. Their phone number is (888) 759-3908. You may want to call ahead. In addition, you may be able to file a claim online here . When you file this claim you will need the following information .
After you apply for benefits, your case will be sent to DDS (Disability Determination Services) in Raleigh, NC. An examiner will be assigned to your case. The examiner may send you forms to fill out and may also send forms to 3rd parties for them to give their opinion about your daily activities. It is extremely important that you complete these forms as soon as possible and return them to the DDS examiner. In addition, DDS may send you to a consultative examination .
Unfortunately, DDS denies most claims for disability benefits. If you have already applied, and been denied for Social Security Disability benefits, you need to appeal the denial as soon as possible. The SSA Appeals Process can prevent an applicant from attaining disability benefits. If you miss the 60-day deadline, you will have to start your disability case at the initial level again. The next appeal is called a reconsideration.
The reconsideration level decision is also made by DDS except your chances of winning are even lower. If you are denied at the recon level, you will have to request a hearing before an SSA Administrative Law Judge. If you live in Durham, your judge will be at the Raleigh Office of Hearing Operations (OHO).
While having a Social Security Disability Lawyer at the initial and reconsideration level helps, having a disability attorney at the hearing is imperative. Gathering your medical information, requesting an opinion from your doctor, preparing you for the hearing and asking the right questions can make the difference between winning or losing your Social Security Disability claim. Unfortunately, some ALJs even take the stance that if a claimant can represent themselves, then they are not disabled.
Step Four: If you go anywhere new for treatment, take any new medication, or have any new diagnoses, you need to call us and let us know so we can forward that information on to SSA/DDS or order your medical records depending on where you are in your Social Security Disability case.
If you need a Durham Social Security Disability attorney, The Bishop Law Firm handles Social Security Disability cases at any level and is willing to assist you throughout your disability case. We do not get paid unless you win! Call us today for a free case evaluation at (919) 615-3095.