Thousands of hard-working Palm Bay workers pay taxes into the Social Security system. Each time they receive a paycheck, a percentage is taken out to pay for disability and retirement benefits. Unfortunately, when a disabling condition occurs that prevents one of these taxpayers from maintaining employment, the process of actually obtaining the disability benefits they need is anything but simple and straightforward.
Ironic, considering that paying taxes into the disability system wasn't hard at all. If you live in the Palm Bay area and are no longer able to work due to a long-term or permanent disability, you need to tip the scales in your favor when it comes to filing a disability claim. The best way to do this is to retain the services of a Palm Bay Social Security Disability attorney.
The City of Palm Bay is located in Brevard County, Florida. It is the most populous city in Brevard County and the sixth-largest city in Florida. The median household income for Palm Bay residents is $41,636, which is slightly below the national average of $50,221. However, it is important to note that the cost of housing in Palm Bay is also 17 percent lower than the national average and the cost of living overall is slightly lower as well. Palm Bay's top area employers include the Harris Corporation and Gannett Newspapers.
Palm Bay is home to more than 107,000 Florida residents. Approximately 31 percent of the households in Palm Bay receive some form of Social Security income. In the State of Florida, approximately 4.1 percent of the population receives Social Security Disability benefits. While the average monthly benefit amount of $1,068.10 that these residents receive can significantly offset the financial stress caused by a disabling condition, most Palm Bay residents will have to wait an average of 376 days before their claim for disability benefits has been completed.
Why, if the average processing time for a Social Security Disability claim is only three to four months, does it take more than a year for the average Palm Bay area applicant to begin receiving Social Security Disability benefits? The lengthy processing times are due to the fact that the majority of Palm Bay applicants are denied disability benefits during the initial stage of the application process. These applicants must then pursue a disability appeal, which usually involves a hearing before an administrative law judge.
The fact that the SSA denies approximately 70 percent of the claims received each year means that there is a tremendous backlog of disability appeals in the Social Security system. The applicants who are filing these appeals must all wait their turn to plead their case before an administrative law judge. The office that is in charge of scheduling the disability hearings for the Palm Bay area is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Unfortunately, due to the extensive backlog of appeals, it takes this office an average of twelve months just to schedule a hearing for a Social Security Disability applicant.
Is there anything that can be done about the extensive processing times and the lengthy wait periods for a disability hearing? The only way to avoid a disability hearing and to have your disability benefits approved quickly is to have them approved during the initial stage of the disability claim process. In many cases, the services of a Palm Bay Social Security Disability lawyer can help.
When you retain the services of a Palm Bay Social Security attorney, he or she will review your Social Security Disability case with you. They will help you understand exactly what the Social Security Administration will need in order to approve your claim and will help you gather the evidence that will be necessary to prove your disability to the Social Security Administration.
Your attorney may also help you complete the application paperwork, ensuring that the adjudicator who reviews your file understands the severity of your condition and how it prevents you from performing any type of substantial gainful activity related to your past relevant work.
If, for some reason, your initial claim for Social Security Disability benefits is denied, your Palm Bay Social Security lawyer can help you throughout the disability appeal process and will represent you at your disability hearing. As stated above, it will take a year for this hearing to be scheduled. You need to make sure that everything goes smoothly and that the administrative law judge has everything they need to approve your appeal and overturn the SSA's decision to deny your Social Security Disability benefits. If you try to represent yourself at this hearing, you will actually hurt your chances of a favorable hearing outcome.
A Palm Bay Social Security Disability lawyer will also handle disability claims in the following cities located in Brevard County, Indian River County, Osceola County, Orange County, Seminole County, and Volusia County: Malabar, Melbourne, Sebastian, Rockledge, Cocoa Beach, Indian Harbor Beach, Merritt Island, Titusville, Grant-Valkaria, Micco, Fellsmere, Fort Pierce, and Deer Park.