When it comes to handling disability, the process is pretty much the same across the country since Social Security Disability, also known as SSD and Supplemental Security Income or SSI are both federal programs. On the other hand, there are some differences between the states on how the application process is handled as well as the payout of disability benefits. If you’re a resident in Florida, you may be wondering what exactly the procedure in your state looks like. Luckily, Pam Olsen, Personal Injury, has a team of experts that can help you better understand what the process looks like and what you can expect to run into along the way. Keep reading below for more specific information!
There are fifty-four Social Security Administration field offices in Florida, and you can start your initial application by visiting any of them or by filling out an online disability application on the Social Security website. Once you have completed this step and your application is received by the local office it will be sent to the Division of Disability Determinations under the Florida Department of Health. Here, your application will be reviewed by a medical professional and claims examiner to determine whether or not you qualify for disability benefits. It is crucial to note that at this initial stage, only thirty percent of applicants are approved in Florida. The state’s approval rating is a little lower than the national average for disability approvals, which is thirty-four percent.
If you are not happy with the decision made in the initial stage, you have the right to appeal Florida’s decision. In the state, there are four parts to this process. The first is reconsideration. At this step, a new reviewer at the Division of Disability Determinations will evaluate your case and will look at your entire application all over again as well as any additional evidence you’ve submitted. At this stage, about ten percent of those originally denied are approved. If you are still denied during reconsideration, the next step would be an Administrative Law Judge Hearing. The judge will review your application as well as any evidence you have. Many cases are won at this step because it is the first time the people making the decision have a chance to meet and speak with you. If you still receive a denial after the Administrative Law Judge Hearing, you do have the right to take your case to the Social Security Appeals Council. This council will only make a decision about your case if they believe that the decision made was not supported by your application and evidence, or there was a procedural issue. The final step you can take if your case is not heard in front of the appeals council is to file a federal court lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit in federal court in Florida is only an option if you’ve gone through all of the other appeal steps.
Pam Olsen, Personal Injury in Florida, has the experience to help their clients handle any type of personal injury accident. Their extensive knowledge allows them to assist their clients with getting the best possible outcome from their cases. Call or visit today to find out how they can help you!