Every application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is different. But below are things that most of you will have to go through before getting a Social Security Disability Award in Virginia.

1. Filing an initial application for benefits. This is the starting point in every claim.

2. Filing two appeals. Obtaining benefits often requires two appeals – even for those who are approved. The first appeal is called a reconsideration appeal. Like your initial application for disability benefits, a disability claims examiner with Disability Determination Services will review your claim. The second appeal is called a request for hearing.

3. Waiting. Fighting for SSDI and SSI benefits requires patience. The process – including filing your initial application, appealing, and going to a hearing – often takes more than two years.

4. Hiring a Richmond Social Security Disability lawyer or Newport News Social Security Disability attorney. An experienced disability representative will know the judges in the hearing office assigned to your claim, the medical-vocational guidelines that may apply to your case, the sequential evaluation process used to decide your case, and the applicable rules and regulations.

5. A disability hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). Most people whose disability applications are approved have to file multiple appeals or go to a hearing before a judge. The hearing will take place at the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) assigned to your case or a local satellite office with hearing equipment. You will testify at your SSD and SSI hearing about how your physical disability or mental disorders keep you from working full time. We represent clients whose claims are heard by: Richmond ODAR, Norfolk ODAR, Charlottesville ODAR, Roanoke ODAR, and Raleigh ODAR.

6. To get a Social Security Disability Award Letter or a SSI Award Letter in Virginia you must prove:

a. A severe physical or mental health condition that has lasted a full year, or that will last more than a year, and that prevents you from performing any past relevant work or any other work that exists in significant numbers in the national economy based on your age, education, literacy, and acquired job skills.
b. Medical evidence (written reports and records) exists that support your allegations that you are unable to work full-time because of your medical impairments.

Have a question about getting a Social Security Disability award in Virginia? We can help. Call or e-mail us now for a free consultation.