If you have an injury, physical or mental illness or a combination of medical problems that prevent you from working or make it hard to work, you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits.
This applies even if you’ve been denied for benefits in the past. In fact, most applications are denied.
- Social Security Disability payments are available to people who stop working because of a physical or mental impairment that prevents them from performing “gainful” work, regardless of age. To be eligible for benefits, you must expect to be out of work for 12 months or longer.
- Disability checks are based on the average earnings for all the years an employee worked before becoming disabled. Benefits last as long as the injured person is unable to work. A disabled person can get benefits until age 65 when payments are converted into Social Security retirement benefits. Children under 18 and some disabled adults may also collect benefits if their parent receives disability.
If you are due Social Security Disability benefits or need help filing an initial claim, an attorney can help you. But don’t delay because time may run out for you to receive certain benefits. If you have been denied Social Security Disability, call us today at 1-866-373-1130.
What happens at a hearing?
If you’re represented by the Deuterman Law Group, your attorney will meet with you a few weeks before your hearing to prepare you for what to expect. Not all law firms conduct pre-hearing conferences, but we believe it’s important to familiarize our clients with the hearing process and address any concerns and anxiety they may have.
A Social Security Disability hearing is a very informal proceeding. It’s not held in a courtroom. Most likely, you’ll be in a meeting or conference room. Typically four people are present – you, your attorney, the judge and a court reporter. A medical or vocational expert also may be present.
The judge will guide the questioning and will ask you about your daily life and functions. Therefore, you must be present at a hearing.
Don’t expect to get a decision on the day of the hearing. It usually takes eight to 10 weeks to get a decision. Most often, these decisions are favorable. In North Carolina, about 73 percent of cases decided at a hearing are approved.