If a physical disability, from a construction accident or motor vehicle accident, or a mental health illness prevents you from being able to work full-time, you may qualify for Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits. However, applying for these needed benefits can be a complicated and frustrating process. Unfortunately, the majority of people are denied the first time they apply for SSD benefits.
The compassionate lawyers at Hensley Legal Group empathize with those who have been denied the Social Security benefits that they need to support themselves and their families. Our law firm has been helping residents of Indiana obtain Social Security disability benefits for over 20 years. We truly care about our clients and work tirelessly to ensure that each receives the justice and financial compensation they deserve.
Whether you’re filing an initial claim, or you have already filed and your claim has yet to be approved, contact the Social Security disability lawyers at Hensley Legal Group today. Our law firm offers free case consultations, and we are dedicated to helping our clients obtain the benefits they deserve. Call our Indianapolis law office at (317) 526-1440 or fill out the online evaluation form to schedule a home or virtual visit.
What Are Social Security Disability Benefits?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has been in place for over 80 years in the United States. It provides financial assistance for those who are unable to work full-time due to age, illness, disability, or other circumstances.
The following are two of the most well-known types of benefits programs that the SSA offers.
Social Security Disability Insurance
If you have a physical disability or mental health condition that prevents you from working, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (DIB or SSDI). In order to qualify for SSDI, you must meet the following criteria:
- You need to have worked a specified length of time in jobs where you paid Social Security taxes from your wages. The amount of work required depends on your age, and the amount of benefits you may obtain will depend on how much money you paid in Social Security taxes before your disability.
- You must have a disability that matches the Social Security Administration’s definition of what is disabled.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a benefits program for those who have a limited income and are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older, but have not earned enough SSDI credits. Supplemental Security Income benefits may be paid not only to you but also to certain members of your family if certain qualifications are met. Take a look at the differences between SSDI and SSI.
How to Apply For Indiana Social Security Disability Benefits
You can file a claim for Social Security disability benefits by filling out the required SSD forms and submitting the documentation required to prove that you meet the criteria to receive benefits. The application can be completed online, at your local Indianapolis Social Security Administration office, or by calling 800-772-1213 or TTY 800-325-0778.
The claims process is extensive. The following is some of the information you may need to have on hand, ready to provide:
- Your Social Security number
- Proof of age
- Contact information of the doctors and hospitals you’ve received treatment from
- Medications you’re taking
- Lab and test results
- Most recent tax returns
Keep in mind that the claims process is complex and may take months to complete. In order to improve the chances of your claim being approved before time runs out, it’s recommended to have an experienced Social Security disability lawyer on your side to help guide you through the process.
Why Your Social Security Disability Claim May Have Been Denied
Each year, thousands of people in Indiana apply for Social Security Disability Insurance, and close to 70 percent of those applications are denied. The following are some of the most common reasons why SSDI claims may be turned away.
Insufficient medical evidence
A resident of Indianapolis applying for Social Security disability benefits is required to provide extensive medical proof documenting the injury and show how it directly prevents him or her from working.
Your doctor must specifically note in your file that your illness or injury prevents you from being able to work. For example, you may be seeking medical care for an injured back, but if your doctor fails to note how this keeps you from work, your claim will possibly be denied.
Some people incorrectly assume that administrators at the Social Security Administration office will send them to doctors who will gather and provide the needed records to approve their claims. This isn’t always the case, and even if the SSA office does send you for a doctor’s exam, the resulting medical records may not be sufficient to prove you are disabled.
It’s beneficial to have a knowledgeable Indianapolis Social Security disability attorney start the claims process with you. The Indianapolis personal injury lawyers at Hensley Legal Group will be aware of what documents the SSA office needs and can help you gather the files.
Failure to follow health care treatment advice
If you fail to follow the treatment prescribed to you by your doctor, your SSA claim will likely be denied. The reason for this is that it’s not possible to tell whether a person is disabled and unable to work if he or she hasn’t been receiving the medical attention needed to treat his or her condition.
There are some exemptions that are permitted for failing to follow medical treatment:
- The applicant’s religious beliefs are contrary to the prescribed treatment
- The applicant is not financially able to pay for the health care treatment
- The applicant receives differing opinions from doctors regarding treatment
- The applicant suffers from a serious mental health condition
A valid reason for not following prescribed health care treatment can be brought up during the SSDI appeals process. However, your chances of receiving the benefits you are due will greatly improve if you have a Social Security disability attorney from our law firm on your side defending you.
Rather than appealing a Social Security disability claim denial, some applicants will choose to just refile. This typically is a poor decision, because the person reviewing the application may see that you were already denied and simply deny the claim again. Thus, it is highly recommended that you take the steps to appeal the denial instead of reapplying.
Making an appeal is a complex process to learn and handle, and if something is filed incorrectly or late, you could once again be denied the benefits you need. You shouldn’t have to handle this all on your own. Instead, contact the Social Security disability attorneys at our office today.
Failure to cooperate
Regardless of how frustrated you feel about the claims process system, it is in your best interests to cooperate with those who work at the Social Security Administration office. If the SSA requests additional medical records, proof of employment, or other paperwork, you are more likely to benefit in the long-run if you provide them with this information.
If the SSA requests something from you, make sure to comply in a timely manner, as failure to reply or turn files in by the required due date could lead to the Social Security Administration denying your claim.
Even if you are already deep into the claims process, it may not be too late to reach out to one of the Social Security disability attorneys at our law firm. Hensley Legal Group is dedicated to helping the residents of our state obtain the benefits they need.
Lack of communication
When you are filing for benefits with the Social Security Administration, the SSA needs to be able to contact you to discuss your claim. If your address or phone number changes, make sure to promptly inform them of the change. Failure to communicate with the SSA could leave your Social Security disability benefits out of reach.
What to Do If Your Social Security Disability Claim Was Denied
If you received a denial after filing your initial Indiana Social Security disability claim, you should appeal immediately. The Social Security Administration only allows appeals to be filed in a short window of time, typically 60 days. In the State of Indiana, after a claim denial, your next step is to file a request for reconsideration.
It is during the Social Security disability appeal process that applicants have the best chance of winning a claim and qualifying for benefits. Around 67 percent of Indiana Social Security Disability applicants are awarded benefits at the hearing stage of the appeals process.
To find out how the personal injury attorneys at Hensley Legal Group can help you during the Social Security Disability appeals process, call our Indianapolis law office to schedule a free consultation.
Contact the Social Security Disability Attorneys At Hensley Legal Group Today
Our Indianapolis Social Security disability attorneys treat each one of our clients with the same kindness that we would toward our own families. We are here to listen to your concerns, address your needs, and offer our assistance. With our many years of experience, we know what the law requires and what the local Social Security Administration judges are looking for in a case.
The personal injury attorneys at our award-winning law firm are eager to make a difference in our clients’ lives. We proudly serve the entire State of Indiana and have helped many Hoosiers recover the Social Security disability benefits that they are due. Our attorneys regularly represent clients in all our law offices across the state, including one right here in Indianapolis.
Contact our Social Security Disability attorneys today by calling Hensley Legal Group’s Indianapolis law office at (317) 526-1440 or filling out the online evaluation form. There is a law firm representative ready to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Schedule a home or virtual visit with one of our team members today.