Experienced advocates assist in navigating the bureaucratic maze

The Social Security Administration’s St. Petersburg office currently estimates a 15.5-month waiting period from the time a hearing date is requested until the hearing is held. In other Florida offices, the wait time is close to 700 days – nearly two years! After the hearing finally takes place, it may be another month before you learn their decision. To put this into context, it takes on average 6 months to build a house. You could have nearly four houses built to completion in the time it takes a Floridian to wait for an SSD hearing.

These wait times seem especially egregious when you consider that the people waiting are often severely disabled and unable to provide for themselves by working. For most Americans receiving disability benefits, this income makes or breaks their budget. One study estimates that 78% of people receiving Social Security rely on the benefits for more than 50% of their monthly income. In fact, it is the goal of our disability benefits programs to provide essential aid to those suffering from a disability.  When it takes years for those benefits to start flowing, it’s sometimes too little too late

So what can you do to avoid the waiting game? Your best bet is to ensure your initial application is approved, avoiding the need for subsequent hearings. To accomplish this, your application should be as complete and comprehensive as possible. You should also anticipate any follow-up questions SSA would ask and provide the documentation and information needed to satisfy potential concerns.

Most people are not familiar with the intricacies of the SSA, including the myriad of eligibility requirements and complex benefit calculation formulas. In fact, the entire process can be extremely stressful for a person already dealing with the challenges of living with a disability. As a result, many people may find it beneficial to work with an experienced disability attorney to evaluate and prepare their claim.  And for those who have been denied and are awaiting a hearing, working with a local attorney experienced in both disability and debt relief can be an essential lifeline in both preparing for the hearing and keeping creditors at bay during the waiting period.

Waiting to seek help until after your initial claim has been denied can mean getting in a line you’ll be waiting in for more than a year. At the Golden Law Group, our skilled Florida social security disability attorneys work with you one-on-one to understand your claim and explain in simple terms all of your options. We know you rely on disability benefits to make ends meet. In addition to assisting you in completing your claim or preparing for an appeal, we also provide advice on recourses for dealing with creditors. Call us at 813-375-0098 or contact us online for a free consultation.  We have offices located in Brandon and Bradenton for your convenience.