Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law



•1) If I become disabled when should I file for Social Security Disability benefits?

You should file immediately. Do NOT WAIT! The Social Security process is long and the quicker you file, the faster you get the ball rolling; the faster you may possibly get approved for benefits.

You can call or visit your local Social Security office or visit

•2) What do I need from my doctor before filing for Social Security benefits?

You need to have a treating physician or be receiving treatment from a clinic. You should discuss with your doctor or nurse practitioner that you have filed for disability. The SSA office will request records or if you have an attorney they will request records and possibly request a statement or form from your physician about your abilities to work.

•3) Do I need an attorney's office to assist me in my claim?

You do not have to have an attorney or non-attorney representative to assist you, but generally this is in your best interest. I am a non-attorney representative, which means I have been approved by the Social Security Administration to represent claimants in a Social Security claim.

When someone has a mental impairment, serious physical problems, lack of family and social support, the Social Security process can be very overwhelming, time consuming, draining on your mental focus, and confusing. Having a representative allows you to focus on your health and them to focus on getting you your benefits.

SSA has some interesting data on their site which shows that over half the people filing for Disability get denied initially. Some states, like Florida and Mississippi, have a reconsideration stage and that data shows over 80% of those claims are denied. Most people wait till they have a hearing before reaching out to get representation, which is unfortunate, because this same data shows that at the hearing level over 80% of claims are allowed.

•4) How long is the Social Security Disability process if I am denied?

Generally, right now in the surrounding states of MS, FL, and AL you are looking at 12-18 months to get a hearing date before an Administrative Law Judge. During that time, our office works with SSA providing medical documentation, forms, and the necessary information to try and get that hearing scheduled as soon as possible, and we work to get claims approved without having to proceed with a hearing.

•5) SHOW ME THE MONEY! If I am approved when will I start getting benefits?

I get this question A LOT! It varies from case to case, but generally about 4-6 weeks. For an SSI claim, the local office will have to process that information and you have to provide income and banking documentation, which can sometimes take a few weeks. In a Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) claim, the payment center in Baltimore or Birmingham usually processes those payments and it can sometimes be a little bit quicker. Recently we have had clients who recieve their funds in just 2-4 weeks.

If you have filed for Social Security disability benefits you may have additional questions regarding filing your claim. Please call one of the experienced disability representatives at Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. today at 251-343-1111 for a free consultation. Gardberg & Kemmerly specialize in helping the injured and disabled.

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