Filing for Disability Benefits in Alabama
Making a successful claim
At Byron A. Lassiter & Associates, P.C., we work hard to help you obtain the disability benefits you have earned. In order to maximize your chances of obtaining your rightful benefits, it is important that your application is complete and includes medical evidence to support your claim. If your application is denied for any reason, we diligently pursue your claim through strong appeals.
How to apply for disability benefits
The first step you must take to obtain disability benefits is to file an application with the Social Security Administration (SSA). Filing for Social Security disability benefits in Alabama is a fairly simple process. You may either:
- File in person at your local Social Security office
- Apply online at www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability
To find your nearest Social Security office, you may call 1-800-772-1213 or search online at www.socialsecurity.gov/locator.
Forms you must complete
When filing for disability benefits in Alabama, you must complete several required reports and documents either online or in person at your local Social Security office:
- SSA-16-BK – Application for Disability Insurance Benefits
- SSA-827-BK – Authorization to Disclose Information to the SSA
- SSA-3368-BK – Adult Disability Report
- SSA-3369-BK – Work History Report
If you plan to fill out these forms on your own, make sure you are using the most current version of each form, that you use only black or blue ink, and that your handwriting is legible. It’s important to note that SSA-827-BK is a blanket authorization that allows the SSA to collect all medical and educational records that can impact the approval or denial of your claim.
What you need when filing your application
When filing for Social Security disability benefits in or Alabama, it is important to be prepared by gathering together all the necessary documents and information, including:
- Dates of marriages and divorces
- Names and dates of birth of your minor children and spouse
- Active duty military service discharge information
- W-2 forms or IRS 1040 and Schedules C and SE from last year
- Checking or savings account and bank routing numbers for direct deposit
- Contact information for someone who knows about your medical conditions and can help with your claim
- Medical records, including names, addresses, phone numbers, patient ID numbers and dates of treatment
- Prescription medication information and names of prescribing doctors
- Names and dates of medical tests and referring doctors
- A list of up to five jobs you had in the 15 years before you became unable to work, and the dates when you worked there
- Information about any insurance or workers’ compensation claims you filed
Because your disability must be eligible for the SSA to award benefits, they may send you to an additional medical examination if you do not have enough supporting medical evidence.
What to Expect from the Process
The first step in the Social Security disability application process is simply deciding to apply for benefits. If you become disabled, you should file your claim for benefits as soon as possible; don’t wait to start the process any longer than you have to. If you have any questions about which type of benefit you may qualify for, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer or call the SSA directly.
Once you have decided to apply for Social Security disability benefits and you know which program you are applying through, you should start to get your documents in order. You will need to provide various documentation related to your identity, your income, your relationship with others on your record who may qualify for benefits, and your medical conditions.
If you haven’t already done so at this point in the Social Security disability application process, it’s strongly recommended that you hire an attorney. An attorney who has experience representing claimants pursuing Social Security disability benefits will understand what the Social Security Administration is looking for and know the best practices for filing your claim and improving your chances of being approved.
Once you have gathered all of the required documents, it’s time to file your claim for disability benefits. You can do this online, over the phone, or in person. It is very important that you fill out the application completely and in full without leaving any part of the application unanswered; if you forget to fill out a section or forgot to attach important documentation, your claim may be denied.
Once you have filed your application for disability benefits, all there is to do in the interim is wait. If you have a condition that is rapidly progressing or falls into a certain category, the SSA may fast-track your claim. Otherwise, it could take about two months or longer in some cases for the SSA to process your application.
After the SSA has reviewed your claim and has made a determination about your eligibility for benefits, you will receive notice that your claim has been approved or denied. If your claim has been denied, the reason for denial must be stated in the letter sent to you by the SSA. If your claim has been denied, you have the right to appeal, but you must file your appeal within 60 days of receiving notice of the claim denial.
How Long Does It Take to Get Approved for SSD Benefits?
Unfortunately, applying for and obtaining SSD benefits is not a quick process.
It can take between three and four months to receive a decision on an initial application for benefits. If your request is denied, you will need to file an appeal, and this can also be a lengthy and complex process.
You have 60 days to file for the first level of appeals, which is a Request for Reconsideration. This can take roughly another three months. There are three other levels of appeals, and each one takes substantially longer to complete.
The best course of action is to have your initial application as complete as possible so that it is approved as early in the process as possible. An experienced disability lawyer can help.
Filing an appeal if your claim is denied
Once you finish filing for disability benefits in or Alabama, the SSA takes three to five months to make a decision on your claim. If your benefits are denied, Byron A. Lassiter & Associates, P.C. offers complete assistance with appeals, representing you in hearings and each step of the process up to the Federal court.
Seek help today to obtain the disability benefits you need
From our offices in Mobile, Byron A. Lassiter & Associates, P.C. is dedicated to helping the disabled and their families obtain disability benefits. If your benefits are denied, contact us online or call us toll free at 800.544.3568 to learn more about your options. First time consultations are free and there are no fees unless we win for you.