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SS Disability Process & Timeline

Representing Clients Throughout the Entire SSD Process

If you are applying for Social Security disability (SSD) or SSI benefits, it is important to know what needs to be done at each stage to protect your rights. In Disability Law Office NW we carefully and attentively guide our clients through the entire process.

To set up a free consultation with an experienced disability benefits lawyer, contact us today. We serve clients throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Northern California helping them understand their options.

Taking Every Opportunity to Get You the Benefits You Deserve

There are several stages in the Social Security Administration (SSA) disability claim process. At each stage, your benefits can be approved or denied. If your claim is denied, you have 60 days to file an appeal. The stages are:

  • Application: Your application is your first opportunity to obtain SSD or SSI benefits. The SSA takes an average of five months to decide on benefits applications. About two-thirds of applications are initially denied, but hiring an attorney who will work with your doctor and help you with your application can increase your chances.
  • Hearing: If your application is denied, you can request a hearing before an administrative law judge within the SSA. It takes an average of a year and half to get a hearing, but this can be expedited in certain situations. Many claims that are initially denied are eventually approved at the hearing stage.
  • Appeals Council review: The Appeals Council is the final decision-maker within the SSA. If your claim is still denied after your hearing, we can request an Appeals Council review. The Appeals Council can affirm the hearing decision, order a new hearing, or reverse the decision.
  • Federal court appeal: If the Appeals Council denies your claim, you have the opportunity to bring a lawsuit against the agency in federal district court, arguing that its decision is not supported by the evidence. We are not afraid to appeal a case to federal court. In fact, we file more district court appeals than any other Northwest Law Office, and often appeal cases that other lawyers reject.

Obviously, the sooner you can get benefits, the better. We represent clients throughout the entire process, unlike many firms that will only get involved if your initial application is denied. We also have a strong record of success at each stage of the appeals process.

To discuss the timeline of the SSD process and what we can do to make it go more smoothly, contact us today.