More than half a million people live in the State of Delaware. Of these residents, approximately 4.6 percent receive Social Security Disability payments. When a worker is unable to continue full-time work activity due to a long-term or permanent disability, the average monthly Delaware Social Security Disability benefit of $1,120.70 can really help make ends meet. Unfortunately, it's not always as easy to obtain Social Security Disability benefits as one may think. The fact of the matter is that while the Social Security Administration (SSA) receives millions of disability applications each year, approximately 70 percent of these disability claims are denied during the initial stage of the application process. The Delaware Social Security Disability applicants who are denied disability benefits during the initial application stage must then endure the lengthy and complicated disability appeal process.
The first stage of appeals for Delaware Social Security Disability applicants is called a Request for Reconsideration. Once again, the SSA will deny the majority of these requests. Most Delaware Social Security Disability applicants must appear before an administrative law judge at a disability hearing in order to obtain the disability benefits they may be entitled to. The good news is that nearly two-thirds of the Delaware Social Security Disability applicants who obtain a disability hearing will be awarded benefits at this stage of the appeal process. The bad news is that it takes nearly a year for most Delaware Social Security Disability applicants to obtain their day in court.
Many Delaware Social Security Disability applicants want to know why it takes so long to obtain a hearing before an administrative law judge. The reason for the excessive wait times is the significant backlog of disability cases in the Social Security system. The offices in charge of scheduling disability hearings fall under the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). The area of the nation that you live in determines which ODAR office will handle your disability case and how long you will have to wait to have your hearing scheduled.
The ODAR office located in Dover, Delaware is responsible for scheduling the disability hearings for the Social Security field offices in Dover, Georgetown and Wilmington. It takes this office an average of 352 days to schedule a disability hearing for Delaware Social Security Disability applicants.
Hiring a Delaware Social Security Disability Attorney
No one wants to wait more than a year before receiving their first Social Security Disability payment. Many Americans rely on these payments to make ends meet and waiting a year or more can wreak financial havoc on a family. When a Delaware Social Security Disability applicant has to endure the lengthy disability appeal process, which is exactly what happens. This is why many of these applicants wonder if there is any possible way to avoid the need for a disability appeal.
The only way to avoid the complex and frustrating disability appeal process is to have your initial claim for disability benefits approved by the SSA. In order to do this, you may want to consider retaining the services of a qualified Delaware Social Security Disability attorney. Your Delaware Social Security Disability lawyer will help you complete your disability application and will ensure that your claim is submitted to the SSA in the best light possible. He or she will also work to gather the medical records that will be necessary to support your claim for disability benefits, ensuring that your claim proves your disability according to the SSA's standards.
If your Social Security Disability application is denied, your Delaware Social Security Disability attorney will work with you to appeal the SSA's decision to deny your disability benefits. Your attorney will first file an appeal and will then work to prepare you for your disability hearing. You should ask your lawyer what you should expect at this hearing and your lawyer should advise you as to how to answer the questions presented to you by the administrative law judge.
While you can technically represent yourself at this hearing, doing so may hurt your chances of being awarded disability benefits from the administrative law judge. Statistics show that applicants who obtain legal representation are more likely to be awarded benefits than applicants who choose to represent themselves.
Fortunately, you do not have to suffer financially in order to obtain the legal representation you deserve. Social Security Disability attorneys work on a contingency basis, collecting 25 percent of the back pay awarded to you by the SSA (up to a maximum amount of $6,000). If you do not win your Social Security Disability case, your lawyer will not be compensated.
If you would like to learn more about hiring a Delaware Social Security Disability attorney, click here to receive a free evaluation of your Social Security Disability case.