Miami lawyer explains the Social Security disability system

I have represented Florida Social Security disability clients since 1995, so I have a lot of experience both with Social Security procedure and the people who work in this area.

The Social Security Administration disability system can be confusing and frustrating to people who are not familiar with it. I have put a lot of information about the Social Security disability claim process on this website, so if you want, you can learn a lot about the way that the Social Security Administration evaluates claims here.

Filing your Florida Social Security disability claim

The first step in seeking Social Security disability benefits is to file a claim application with the Social Security Administration.

Some people prefer to get help right away and hire a Social Security disability lawyer to file their disability claim.

Others choose to do this first step themselves. If you want to file your disability claim on your own, consider reviewing the Tips for Applying on this website.

The Social Security Administration’s evaluation of your disability claim

Although Social Security is a federal program, the Social Security Administration sends your application to a Florida agency for the initial determination of your claim.

The results at this stage are generally not encouraging. On the average, only approximately 35% of claims are approved at this initial evaluation stage, and the other 65% are denied.

After a denial, you can ask for reconsideration. However the chances of success on reconsideration are also very low because only 15% of claims are approved on reconsideration.

The important part is to not give up. You want to continue on to the next step, which is to appeal, because once claims get to the appeal hearing level the success rate is much better.

The difference between the decision on the disability application and an appeal

The percentage of success of Social Security disability claims is significantly higher on appeal than at the original stage of the determination based on the application. Furthermore, the two processes are completely different.

The evaluation of the initial application is made solely on the written record. That is, the people who make the decision about whether or not you are entitled to disability benefits do not meet with you. Rather, they base their decision only on the written materials in the application and the medical records.

In contrast, an appeal consists of a face-to-face hearing with an Administrative Law Judge. At this hearing you can not only appear in person, but you can also bring witnesses and be represented by an attorney. This means that you get a much better opportunity with an appeal to an Administrative Law Judge to explain how your disability impairs your ability to work.

I would like to help with your Florida Social Security disability claim

I have a lot of experience dealing with the Social Security Administration and the local Administrative Law Judges, and I want to help you get the Social Security disability benefits that you deserve.

I have Spanish speaking assistants to help, so don’t worry about language problems.

If you are not already represented by a Florida Social Security disability lawyer and would like my evaluation, give me a brief description of your claim using the form on this page. Or, you may simply email or otherwise contact me at my office.

Deirdre DiBiaggio
Coral Gables and Miami Social Security disability attorney
Licensed to practice by the Florida Bar Association

Email me

Penthouse I, Suite 1603
121 Alhambra Plaza
Coral Gables, FL 33134