Hope for Those Filing for Disability


Navigating the path to securing disability benefits can be daunting. Recognizing this, we aim to transform the complexities and frustrations into a journey of hope and assistance. At Burgess & Christensen, located in Georgia, we understand the importance of support and guidance through these challenging times. Our experienced team is dedicated to ensuring you are not alone in this process, providing clear, accessible information and practical advice at every step.

Understanding the Disability Benefits Process

The road to obtaining disability benefits involves several steps, each requiring careful attention to detail and adherence to specific Social Security Administration (SSA) criteria. This agency oversees the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) programs. Due to high demand and operational constraints, the SSA’s processing times can be lengthy. However, with strategic planning and experienced guidance, navigating this process more smoothly and effectively is possible.

  • Initial Application: Filing an initial application is the first step toward claiming your benefits. This can be done online, by phone or in person at your local SSA office but it’s crucial to approach this step thoroughly and precisely. Demonstrating your inability to work due to a disability requires a comprehensive collection of medical records, evidence of your condition’s impact on your ability to engage in gainful employment, and depending on your case, details of your work history or financial situation. The initial application phase can take several months, and success hinges on the quality and completeness of the information provided.
  • Reconsideration: Should your initial application be denied, the next step is to file for reconsideration. This phase allows for a re-examination of your case, including any new or updated evidence that could support your claim. It’s an opportunity to strengthen your application with additional documentation that underscores the legitimacy of your disability and its impact on your life. The reconsideration process can vary in length but is a crucial step for those seeking to overturn an initial denial.
  • The Hearing: If reconsideration does not result in approval, you can request a hearing before an administrative law judge. This stage differs significantly from the previous ones, offering a chance to present your case in detail in person, by phone or by video. The hearing provides a platform for personal testimony about the effects of your disability and an examination of your evidence by the judge. It represents the best opportunity to achieve a favorable outcome.

Navigating the Process in Georgia

Navigating the disability benefits process in Georgia can present unique challenges and considerations for applicants. The state-specific aspects of the process, remarkably the variability in wait times for the processing of the claim, underscore the importance of being well-prepared and clearly understanding what to expect. Below are some expanded insights and additional points to consider for those applying for disability benefits in Georgia:

  • Extended Wait Times for Decisions: Since the COVID-19 pandemic, SSA offices in Georgia have been facing unprecented backlogs due to staff shortages. This has resulted in a longer wait time to receive decisions, particular at the Initial and Reconsideration stages of the process. Applicants should use this time to gather additional evidence, such as more comprehensive medical records or letters from treating physicians, to strengthen their case.
  • Local Legal Representation: Consider seeking representation from a local attorney specializing in Social Security disability claims. They can provide valuable guidance tailored to Georgia’s specific context, helping to navigate the system’s complexities more effectively. A local attorney can also offer insights into the tendencies of local SSA offices and administrative law judges, potentially increasing the chances of a successful outcome.
  • Utilizing Local Resources: Georgia offers various state and local resources that can provide support during the waiting period. These might include non-profit organizations supporting individuals with disabilities, and community health services. Exploring these resources can provide additional support and uncover avenues for assistance you may not have been aware of.

Practical Advice for Applicants

  • Prepare Thoroughly: Ensure your application includes detailed medical records and evidence of how your condition affects your ability to work.
  • Understand the Process: Familiarize yourself with the steps involved in securing disability benefits to navigate the system more effectively.
  • Seek Professional Guidance: An experienced disability attorney can provide invaluable advice, from preparing your application to representing you at hearings.

Call Us for Support

At Burgess & Christensen, we’re committed to providing hope and professional assistance to those navigating the complex disability benefits process. Our experience can help clarify this journey, making it less daunting and more manageable. Call us today at 770-422-8111 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a dedicated team ready to support you every step of the way.