By the time this year has ended, the Social Security Administration will be expected to have received more than 3 million claims for Social Security Disability benefits. Of all of the claims received, a mere 30 percent will be approved during the initial stage of the application process. The remaining 70 percent of applicants will have to pursue a disability appeal in order to obtain the disability benefits they may be entitled to.
If you are in need of Social Security Disability benefits in the New Bedford area, the services of a New Bedford Social Security Disability attorney may be able to increase your chances of being approved for benefits during the initial application stage and if your claim is not approved, a New Bedford Social Security Disability lawyer can increase your chance of filing a successful Social Security Disability appeal.
In its beginnings, New Bedford's economy was focused on fishing and farming. However, as times changed so did the players in the New Bedford business world. While fishing is still one of the leaders in the economic well-being of the city, the manufacturing and medical sectors also play an important role and tourism is having more and more of an economic impact on the city. The median family income in New Bedford is $44,934 per year while the cost of living in the city is 21 percent above the national average.
Applying for New Bedford Social Security Disability Benefits
There are more than 95,000 residents who make their home in New Bedford. The Social Security Administration currently provides Social Security Disability benefits to approximately 4.5 percent of the population in Massachusetts. The average disability benefit amount for a disabled Massachusetts worker with enough work credits (used to be known as quarters of coverage) is $1,049.30 per month. While this monthly disability payment can definitely help make ends meet, the truth is that it takes the average New Bedford disability applicant nearly two years before seeing their first disability payment from the Social Security Administration.
In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, an individual must suffer from a disability that prevents them from earning a substantial gainful income and that disability must be expected to last at least one year or longer. The disabled individual must also have earned enough “work credits” to qualify them for SSDI benefits or, if a person has not earned enough work credits to qualify for SSDI, they must meet certain income requirements to qualify for Social Security's SSI needs-based disability program. However, proving that such a disability exists can be hard.
The process of filing a Social Security Disability claim can be overwhelming and complicated. If the right information is not provided or if the SSA does not receive sufficient medical evidence, your application will not be approved during the initial stage of the claim process. This will result in the need for a disability appeal, which will likely involve a disability hearing in front of an administrative law judge. For New Bedford disability applicants, it takes approximately one year from the date this hearing is requested to actually receive their day in court. It then takes another two to three months to be notified regarding the outcome of that hearing.
Hiring a New Bedford Disability Lawyer
When you retain the services of a New Bedford Social Security attorney, the lawyer that you select will help you prepare your disability claim forms, ensuring that all of the forms are filled out properly and that you have provided enough medical evidence to support your case for disability benefits. This will ensure that your disability claim is presented to the SSA in the best light possible and will thereby increase your chance of approval at the initial stage of the application process.
If, for some reason, your initial application for benefits is denied, your New Bedford Social Security lawyer can help you through each stage of the disability appeal process. Statistics show that individuals who have legal representation during a disability appeal are more likely to be awarded benefits than claimants who are not represented by an attorney. The longer you wait to hire a New Bedford disability attorney, the harder it may become for your attorney to win your Social Security Disability case for you.
If you have already filed your Social Security Disability application and that claim has been denied by the Social Security Administration, you should consult with a New Bedford Social Security Disability attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will begin working on your appeal with you and will file your Request for Reconsideration, which is the first stage of the appeal process.
While you can technically file this appeal yourself, you should have an attorney working on your case as early in the game as possible to increase your chance of success. However, do not get your hopes up that your case will be awarded during this stage of the appeal process. Nearly 80 percent of reconsideration requests are not granted by the SSA. This is why you and your lawyer will be focusing on the hearing stage of your disability appeal.
When you are scheduled for a Social Security Disability hearing, it is crucial that you have a New Bedford disability attorney representing you in your case. Statistics show that your chances of being awarded benefits as a result of a disability hearing are significantly greater with proper legal representation.
A New Bedford disability lawyer will also handle disability claims in cities located the areas of Attleboro, Fall River, Providence and Taunton.