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Step 1: File an Application

At  ManleyReynolds, we are happy to help at any point in the benefits process, from the initial application to the hearing. We will be there for you. We are comfortable handling every part of the process.


Step 1 of the process

application for benefits

Image: Example of Application

An application for social security disability benefits must be filed in order to start the disability process. 


There is an online application that starts the SSD part and has information that is needed for both SSD and SSI.


An application can be filed online, in person, by mail.  If you hire us, we will file the application for you.


Once the application is filed, DDS will begin working on the claim.  They gather medical records, mail out forms for you to fill out and return, and in some cases, send you for one or more consultative exams.  It is always the claimant’s responsibility to keep DDS and SSA informed of all medical providers, medical conditions and doctor and hospital visits.  When we are your attorneys, we make sure SSA and DDS are updated for you.


Failing to complete anything that has been asked of you, usually results in a denial for failure to comply.


Once DDS receives the medical, the forms back and any exams they sent you for, they will make a decision on your case.  This process can take a long time, especially if your doctor’s are not cooperating or you are slow in getting paperwork back to DDS.  COVID has also slowed things down at DDS.


DDS will send their determination to SSA and SSA will send out the letters to you.  You will either be awarded benefits or not.  If you are awarded benefits, you will receive more letters telling you your monthly award money and any back pay you may be entitled to.  


More likely though you will receive a denial letter indicating that SSA believes you have some impairments, but that the impairments do not prevent you from working.  


Currently, approval rate at the application step is only 21%





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