Deborah Mitchell is a Social Security Disability claimant’s attorney providing Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefit services to claimants in East Alabama and West Georgia.
Our Practice Areas
Social Security Disability Claims
Do I Qualify?
If you have worked and paid Social Security taxes for five of the last ten years, and you are disabled due to a mental and /or physical impairment, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits.
How Do I Apply?
Either go in person to the local Social Security office or phone the regional Social Security office to file your initial application for disability benefits. Expect your first application to be denied. Most initial applications are denied. If you have not already contacted an attorney, this would be the time to consult with one. If your initial application for benefits is denied, you must appeal your denial within sixty days. Some states, including Georgia, have a reconsideration process. However, there is still a sixty-day window for appeal. In your appeal, you request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. This judge hears testimony and reviews your doctor’s reports, your own records and your application. The judge will usually take several months or longer before issuing a decision in your case.
Each claim is different. A short document such as this one cannot completely prepare you to present your case, and an attorney cannot determine in advance how a judge will rule in a case. However, there are some simple rules to follow:
- Always tell the truth.
- Never exaggerate your medical problems, but never minimize them either.
- Provide all relevant details and specific examples but don’t ramble in your testimony.
- Continue to see your own doctor on a regular basis throughout your claim. Long periods of time with no medical treatment could be used as evidence that you were not disabled during that time.
- Don’t worry. Your attorney will be there to help you if you forget something or don’t bring out the necessary details at your administrative hearing.
What Can An Attorney Do For Me?
We prefer to be called in on a Social Security Disability claim right at the beginning so that we can advise you and help to protect your rights throughout the Social Security process. We can assist you at both the initial application stage, the reconsideration stage, as well as at your formal hearing with the Administrative Law Judge.
What we can do:
- Help you obtain the proper reports from your physicians and specialists.
- Assist you in keeping records that will detail your condition and the extent of your disability for the judge.
- Monitor the status of your claim as it moves through the complicated Social Security Administration system.
- Request further medical evidence from your doctors, if necessary.
- Deliver an opening statement on your behalf at the administrative hearing.
- Ask you the necessary questions at the hearing to present your case in the most effective manner.
- Provide a brief in support of your claim to better assist the Administrative Law Judge to understand your specific impairments.
- Lay the foundation for a remand of reversal on appeal if the Administrative Law Judge decides against you.