Filing For And Receiving Disability Benefits Doesn't Have To Be A Nightmare

Filing a rightful claim for disability benefits can be complicated and time-consuming. Simplify the process by working with the knowledgeable lawyers at Morrison & Hughes

Practice Area: Social Security Disability

Simplify the process of filing for disability in Marietta, GA, when you work with the knowledgeable lawyers at our practice. Filing a rightful claim for disability benefits can be complicated and time-consuming. As your representative, an attorney from this firm will carefully review your claim and advise you on all of the steps to take before your hearing.
After suffering a catastrophic injury that permanently prevents you from making a living, the resulting stress and worry can become overwhelming. Our detailed understanding of physical injuries and the Social Security Blue Book makes this firm a smart choice for anyone interested in applying for benefits.

Whether you are considering filing for disability, or you have already submitted a claim, we are ready to help make a difference. Our lawyers go the extra mile to put you at ease during this process. Instead of dealing with the stress and complication involved with this process on your own, hire firm that understands the challenges you face.

FAQs

Answered By Expert Atlanta SSDI Attorneys

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

  • Injured At Work

  • General

How Do I Apply to Receive SSDI Payments?

You have two options. The first is to locate the nearest social security office and schedule an appointment to apply in person. You should plan to be there for at least a couple of hours. The second option is to schedule a telephone interview to complete your application. You have the right to work with a disability advocate or an attorney from the start of your SSDI application process.

What Counts as a Disability Under SSDI Guidelines?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) enforces a strict definition of disability. You must have a qualifying medical condition for at least 12 months or that is likely to cause your death. Because of your disability, you cannot do the same work you did before or adjust to another type of work even with training.

What Types of Documents Do I Need to Produce When Applying for SSDI?

Not including the proper documentation or completing forms incorrectly is one of the leading reasons for the initial denial of an SSDI application. You will need to submit documentation from an acceptable medical professional the outlines the onset and worsening nature of your disabling medical condition. The following are just some acceptable sources of medical documentation:
• Laboratory reports
• Copies of prescriptions and your response to medications
• Your doctor’s assessment of your ability to perform any type of work-related activities
• Diagnosis and current prognosis of your medical condition
• In-depth medical history
• Description of functional limitations you experience due to your disability

What Percentage of Applicants Receive an Approval on the First Submission?

Unfortunately, only about 30 percent of applicants for SSDI receive an approval the first time they apply for benefits. Several factors play into this such as errors on the application, the large number of applications the SSA receives, federal budget cuts, and inability of the SSA to predict the future economy. You stand a significantly better chance of approval on your first application or on subsequent appeals when you retain the services of a social security disability attorney.

Is SSDI the Same Thing as SSI?

No. The SSA operates two different programs for disabled individuals. SSDI is for those who worked for at least 10 years prior to their disability and earned enough credits based on their employment income to qualify to apply for SSDI.

SSI, which stands for Supplemental Security Insurance, is a program for disabled individuals who have not earned enough credits from work over the past 10 years or who have been unable to work at all during the past decade. The payment for SSI is typically lower than it is for SSDI. Although not common, some people can collect payments from both programs if they meet certain eligibility requirements.

What is the Review Process After I Submit My Initial Application for SSDI Benefits?

After you have completed your application and gathered all required documentation, you will send the entire packet to the closest Disability Determination Services Office in your state. Once received, a disability examiner works in partnership with a medical doctor to review your claim. If you receive an initial denial and request reconsideration, your information will go to a different disability examiner and medical doctor working in the same office. If denied a second time and you decide to appeal, your case will go before an Administrative Law Judge who will make the final determination.

What Are Work Credits and How Many Do I Need to Apply for SSDI?

In most cases, the SSA requires applicants to have worked at least five out of the past 10 years before they qualify to apply for disability benefits. You receive work credits from the SSA when working at an income-producing job and paying into the social security system. The SSA bases your credit amounts on earnings alone. In addition to disability programs, the SSA uses the number of credits a person has earned to determine survivor income and retirement benefits. You can receive a maximum of four credits per calendar year. That means you will need at least 20 credits to apply for SSDI.

Can I Apply for SSDI if My Disability is Not Permanent?

In some cases, yes. However, your disability must still last at least 12 months or be expected to last at least 12 months according to the initial determining criteria of the SSDI program. You will become ineligible for SSDI benefits if you are able to return to work at some point in the future.

Is There a Waiting Period to Collect SSDI Benefits After Receiving an Approval?

Yes. To ensure that it does not pay benefits to a person with only a short-term disability, the SSDI has instituted a five-month waiting period before approved applicants receive their first payment. You will receive a payment starting with the sixth full month provided you can prove total disability for the five months preceding the payment date. Having a severe disability such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or late-stage cancer can expedite the approval process, but you will still need to wait until the sixth month of disability to collect your first payment.

Can I Apply for SSDI with a Diagnosis of a Mental Disorder?

Yes, as long as your mental illness falls within one of the 14 categories listed in the SSDI Blue Book. This is a manual that lists qualifying disorders for obtaining SSDI benefits. Keep in mind that each category also has several sub-categories listed with it.

I paid into Social Security all my life. Isn’t disability mine for the asking?

The federal government doesn’t make anything that easy. The process of proving disability involves a maze of complex federal regulations defining what it means to be “legally disabled.” You will need an experienced and aggressive disability attorney to navigate the process—if you’re serious about winning your case!

Can I apply for disability if I’m still working?

While every case is different, a person should generally apply for disability if their job has ended for reasons directly related to certain physical and/or mental impairments. And a person should only apply for disability if those physical and/or mental impairments are severe enough to prevent a successful return to work. Even if a motor vehicle accident or surgical recovery is particularly rough, something will only be considered “disabling” if it lasts or is reasonably expected to last at least 12 months, or is expected to result in death.

Can I try to work or collect unemployment insurance benefits while a disability claim is pending before the Social Security Administration?

You can, but doing so can have very serious implications for your case. These are matters that should be immediately discussed with an experienced disability attorney.

Once I apply for disability, when will I learn of a decision?

Think of the process as multiple rungs on a ladder. Most important are the Initial, Reconsideration, and Hearing Levels. Most individuals will be denied at the initial two stages before their claims are finally scheduled to be heard before a U.S. Administrative Law Judge. In the Atlanta region, it can take two years to get your day in court, and everything typically boils down to that one day! At that point, decisions are usually mailed within 60-90 days.

What happens at a Disability Hearing?

A Hearing before a judge involves a comprehensive review of multiple years of medical records, detailed testimony from you, as well as the testimony of vocational and/or medical experts, in addition to your lawyer’s arguments on the application of Social Security law to the facts of your case. A Hearing presents your best statistical chance of winning, but not without a highly skilled disability attorney at your side.

Filing for Disability in Georgia

Simplify the process of filing for social security disability (SSDI) when you work with the knowledgeable Atlanta disability lawyers at our practice. Filing a rightful claim for disability benefits can be complicated and time-consuming. As your representative, an attorney from this firm will carefully review your claim and advise you on all of the steps to take before your hearing.

After suffering a catastrophic injury that permanently prevents you from making a living, the resulting stress and worry can become overwhelming. Our detailed understanding of physical injuries and the Social Security Blue Book makes this firm a smart choice for anyone interested in applying for benefits.

Whether you are considering filing for disability, or you have already submitted a claim, we are ready to help make a difference. Our lawyers go the extra mile to put you at ease during this process. Instead of dealing with the stress and complication involved with this process on your own, hire firm that understands the challenges you face.

A Disability Claim Consultation

Sit down with one of our compassionate attorneys and tell them everything you can about your injuries and the current state of your finances. The Social Security Administration publishes a Blue Book that details all of the qualifying disabilities and impairments that entitle you to benefits. Our lawyer will review your claim for disability and advise you on any details that may be missing from your application.

Essential Supplemental Security Income

SSI provides blind and disabled Americans with supplemental income that is separate from the Social Security Trust fund. This program is administered at the state level and involves a qualification process that we are ready to guide you through. During the income eligibility process, we may find that you are entitled to payment for unpaid labor.

Consultations Are Always Free

You can learn a lot from a simple conversation. Talk with one of the experts at Morrison & Hughes to get a feel for how we work and get insight into your situation. We will always honor your time and give you the no-nonsense answers you need. 

We Can Come To You

Many of our clients have had their lives upended by injury or circumstances that make travel difficult. We work hard to accommodate your needs - often coming to you when you can't come to us. 

We FIGHT HARD for YOU

Ask our past clients or read our reviews and you'll see that we treat our clients like family. We don't call ourselves 'The Big Guns' for nothing- choosing to work with Morrison & Hughes is choosing to fight for what you deserve. 

The Best Social Security & Disability Attorneys In Georgia

Take back control of your case - and your life.

Get the attentive legal advice and support you need to win.

Receive every benefit and recovery you deserve under the law.

Lawsuits can be overwhelming and exhausting, especially when you have been injured or are going up against an employer or insurance company. You don't have to fight alone - with expert attorneys with decades of experience in personal injury, workers' compensation, and social security and disability, Morrison & Hughes has the experience to guide you all the way through to life after lawsuits.

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Results: $1.2 Million Rear-End Accident

Commercial Trucking Accident

Our client recovered $1.2 million dollars in settlement after being rear-ended by a commercial moving vehicle. Although the company originally claimed the truck driver was not their employee, Morrison & Hughes proved that the movers were at fault and recovered over a million dollars for our client's pain and suffering and medical care.

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Results: $3 Million Recovered

For Work-Related Brain Injury

When our client suffered a traumatic brain injury caused by the negligent operation of heavy machinery, the M&H team went to work! The Big Guns provided support for our client's entire family and helped them see multi-million dollar results.

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Results: $2.9 Million Won For Our Client

Catastrophic Work Accident

M&H lawyers are absolute injury experts. Whether the accident happens at work, in a car, or on a motorcycle, our results speak for themselves.

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Results: $575,000 For Our Client Injured At Work

On-the-Job Car Accident

Although the at-fault party claimed to have not caused the accident, our accident reconstruction team was able to prove that our client was the innocent party. Morrison & Hughes was able to secure great medical treatment for our client and recover a fair and reasonable settlement from the insurance company.

TESTIMONIALS

What our clients are saying:

"An attorney who will fight for your rights as a worker against insurance companies"


Matt H.

Tristan Morrison, the managing partner at the Morrison and Hughes law firm, handled my worker's compensation case with the highest level of professionalism, dedication and devotion to fight against powerful insurance companies for his client's rights, and has gone above and beyond his role as my attorney, due to complications that arose after my case had concluded. Before I chose Tristan, I spoke with multiple attorneys in Atlanta's metropolitan area, and not one even came close in explaining what Georgia's Worker's Compensation laws entailed, and what the facts of our case would mean in terms of settlement with these insurance companies. If you want an attorney that will treat you as an individual client, friend, and the individual devotion he will provide to you as a client. If you want an attorney who will fight for your rights as a worker against insurance companies and will go the extra mile to ensure your case is resolved, Tristan Morrison is your man!

"Recommend them to anyone!"


Xavier V.

Everyone involved in helping with my case were extremely helpful! Response in a timely manner. Gave me updates throughout the entire process which means they usually answered any of my questions before I even asked them. Recommend them to anyone!

"We could not have asked for more professional and knowledgeable help and direction"


Deborah H.

Paul Jenkins, one of the lawyers in this firm, just helped my husband with a social security disability case. We could not have asked for more professional and knowledgeable help and direction on Paul's part. He lead us through every step with efficiency and concern to better our comprehension of what was needed from us. Covid delayed our hearing just about a year, but we got a favorable decision in the end. I feel this was very much due to Paul's expertise in presenting the needed information to the judge. We are extremely appreciative for his help.

We get it.

A legal fight can be overwhelming, stressful, and exhausting.

You don't have to fight alone. We can help.

The attorneys of Morrison & Hughes have the experience to guide you through the entire process and the tenacity to fight and win for you.

Listen to the stories of some of our satisfied clients and learn more about how Morrison & Hughes can help you and your loved ones get to life after lawsuits.


Tracy was seriously injured at work. She turned to Morrison & Hughes to help guide her through a difficult time and a


Randy was injured in a rear-end collision while on the job, resulting in catastrophic injuries to his neck, leaving him not just

Morrison & Hughes are the personal injury experts

See some of our recent articles and videos to learn more about personal injury law and steps you should take today if you've been injured.

It can feel like the system
is designed for you to lose -
but with the Big Guns on your
side you can fight - and win.