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The Social Security application and appeal process

Many of my Atlanta Social Security clients are confused by the many rules and regulations of the Social Security Administration. At first it looks very clear and easy to present your disability claim to the Social Security Administration, but later things can get much more complex.

Filing an initial disability application with the Social Security Administration is easy

Submitting your application for disability benefits is relatively easy, and can be done in any of three ways:

If you are completing the application on your own you might want to read these articles:

After you complete the application, the Social Security Administration sends your claim to a local Georgia agency that makes initial decisions on disability claims in Georgia.

Denial of Social Security disability applications is common

Don’t be disappointed when your application for Social Security disability benefits is denied. Most initial applications are denied.

The important part is not to give up when you receive that denial. Statistics show that although close to two-thirds of initial applications are denied, over half of the people who continue the process by appealing are eventually awarded Social Security disability benefits.

For more information about appealing a denial of the initial application for Social Security disability benefits, see:

The difference between the Social Security disability application and an appeal

There are several reasons why the percentage of disability awards is so much better at the appeal stage than at the initial application stage.

One of those is that the initial decision is made by a Georgia agency examiner who has only the file to review. This person rarely looks beyond medical findings in the file to consider a your actual ability to work, but uses the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments as a basis for a determination.

In contrast, at the appeal stage the decision is made by an Administrative Law Judge who evaluates the whole case, including your testimony and your credibility. Administrative Law Judges view the medical findings as setting the guidelines for a range of possibilities, and give more consideration to what you are actually able to do under the Social Security Administration’s definition of residual functional capacity.

Get help from an Atlanta Social Security disability lawyer

Although filing the initial claim is easy, working with the Social Security Administration after the denial of a claim can be very complicated because of all of the detailed Social Security Administration regulations.

If you are not already represented by a Georgia Social Security disability lawyer, consider asking for our evaluation of your claim. Give us a brief description of your claim using the form at the top of the page, or e-mail or call our office.

Alex Simanovsky
Atlanta Social Security disability lawyer


Call Us Today at:

(678) 781-1012

2300 Henderson Mill Road, Suite 300
Atlanta, Georgia 30345