Hobart SSD Process Attorney
The SSD application process is a long road that typically starts with failure. Attorney Joseph Nugent cautions you not to be discouraged. These are the steps along that pathway:
1. Filing Your Initial Claim. If you have not yet filed a claim for disability benefits, you probably begin the process by dropping your application off at your local Social Security Administration office.
There are offices in our area in Merrillville, Michigan City, Valparaiso, Hammond and Gary. Or you can file a claim online. If you file in person, someone at SSA will go over the application with you, looking for errors and omissions.
2. Evaluation By The Indiana Disability Determination Bureau. If the application checks out, it will be forwarded to the Indiana Disability Determination Bureau (DDB), which will evaluate the medical facts in the application. The DDB evaluates both SSD and SSI claims. The majority of claims evaluated by DDB are denied.
3. Reconsideration. The next step in the process is called reconsideration. It is really just a request that DDB give your application a second look. It’s all done on paper; you don’t get to meet your evaluators. If you failed the first time, you will probably fail again in reconsideration.
4. A Hearing With An Administrative Law Judge. Now you get to see someone face to face, as you ask a judge to overrule your claim denial. Here your odds begin to improve. About 50 percent of claims at this stage are approved. A great many of our clients are very happy after ALJ hearings.
5. The Appeals Council. This is a nationwide SSA court located in Virginia. Like all appeals, it examines your case on the basis of paperwork completed to this point. It is not a trial and no new evidence is allowed.
6. Taking Your Case To Federal Court. If you have gotten this far, making a federal case of your claim in United States District Court is your first chance to describe your situation before a non-Social Security entity. The nearest U.S. District Court office is in Hammond. As you can imagine, your chances of success improve dramatically. Many cases are resolved favorably at this level. The downside is that it may take two years to get to this point.
How To Apply For SSD In Michigan City And Vicinity
You would not dream of going to federal court without a skilled, experienced lawyer. But it is better to work with a great lawyer as early as possible, to keep track of the paperwork, to identify and rectify weak points in your case, and to present your claims as persuasively as possible.
When you are notified of denial, that is a good time to call Joseph Nugent, Attorney at Law, if you have not already done so. Many people get discouraged at this point, and having a confident, knowledgeable benefits attorney on your side will help keep you from giving up.
In Northwest Indiana, the disability benefits lawyer to turn to is Northwest Indiana SSD process lawyer Joe Nugent of Hobart and Michigan City. To schedule a no-cost conversation about your case, call Joe at 219-945-9766, or write to him using this form.