There are millions of individuals across the country, including here in New Jersey, that struggle with a debilitating illness or condition which renders them unable to work. Such individuals can be eligible for collecting Social Security Disability benefits if they meet certain criteria. However, obtaining these benefits can be more difficult than one might be inclined to assume.
Trying to navigate the process without an experienced attorney can be very difficult, and delay or hinder an individual’s ability to begin receiving critical benefits. With the assistance of an attorney, the first step is to file an initial application for benefits. There is a lot that goes into this involved step. There needs to be medical records, a detailed work history and ensuring that all the criteria are met.
It is not unusual for individuals to have their initial application denied. In the case of an out-of-state individual that struggled long and hard with degenerative disk disease and depression adjustment disorder, the individual had to fight much opposition. The individual was recently awarded disability benefits with the help of a lawyer, 12 years after their initial application.
It is not typical for it to take nearly that long to obtain benefits. However, if an individual is attempting to collect such benefits without the assistance of an attorney, they could miss a crucial step, which could serve to significantly delay the receipt of benefits. The Social Security process can be long, complex and confusing — particularly when an individual is already struggling. However, there are methods to alleviate stress and delays.
Source: The Daytona Beach News-Journal, “Port Orange law firm wins 12-year-old case,” F. Fernandez Jan. 30, 2013