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Social Security Disability Process

Social Security Disability Process

Michael Pyrros NY Workers Comp Attorneys

New York Social Security Disability Attorneys

The Social Security disability process can be both daunting and confusing. Initially, many legitimate claims are rejected.

At Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani, decades of experience helping thousands of clients with social security disability issues and SSI gives our attorneys a thorough understanding and exceptional knowledge of the process. Our lawyers can take your Social Security disability appeal at any stage of the process, whether you have just received notice of denial or you have initiated the appeal process.

Initial Applications

You can apply for Social Security Disability when you have been out of work for five months and are expected to be out of work for at least a year. Medical records are obtained and submitted to the Social Security Administration to support your application. the majority of cases are denied at this level and must be appealed within 60 days.

Appeal for Administrative Hearing

An attorney who has extensive experience with social security disability claims and appeals is your best chance of a positive outcome in an appeal concerning wrongful denial of a valid Social Security disability claim.

At an administrative hearing, you appear before an Administrative Law Judge to testify regarding your impairments and limitations. Subsequently, a written Notice of Decision will be rendered. If denied at the Appeals Council hearing level, you have 60 days to appeal your claim. The Appeals Council can reverse, remand or deny your claim.

When you retain our firm to protect your legal rights in a Social Security disability appeal, we will start with a thorough investigation of the facts and circumstances of your injury or illness. Working closely with you, your attorney will gather, review and assess all documentation, including medical records and will prepare and file any pleadings or other forms required during the process.

We understand that every case is unique and you can rest assured that we will take the time to learn the details of your situation, so that we can formulate the best strategy to appeal a claims denial and obtain positive results. Throughout your case, we make every effort to return your calls promptly and keep you up to date on the status of your case, so that you always know where you stand.

Understanding the Social Security Disability Process in New York

When you are hurt or develop certain medical conditions and can’t work at the same level you could before (or at all), you might qualify for the Social Security Disability process. However, the process for disability benefits is complex, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies many disability claims.

At Pyrros, Serres, & Rupwani LLP, our Social Security Disability lawyers in New York have years of experience fighting for disability claims. If you need help with the Social Security Disability application process or filing an appeal after a denial, contact us.


What disability benefits does the SSA offer? You might be able to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or both. What is the difference between the two programs?

With SSI, you must be 65 or older, be blind, or have a disability (at any age), as well as have limited income and assets. You would also automatically qualify for Medicaid with approval for SSI. SSI provides essential financial assistance for low-income older adults or people with disabilities regardless of age.

SSDI provides financial coverage for disabled people with a qualifying work history based on age, education, and work experience. Additionally, someone receiving SSDI will automatically qualify for Medicare after receiving disability benefits for 24 months, although the waiting period is waived for anyone with ALS receiving SSDI.

If you have both a qualifying work history and limited income and assets, you may qualify for both SSI and SSDI.

How Does the Social Security Administration Determine That You’re Disabled?


The SSA considers you disabled if:

  • You can no longer work due to a qualifying medical condition
  • You can’t do the same work you performed before the onset of your disability
  • You can’t perform other work due to your disability, as determined by the New York Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
  • Your disability has lasted or will last for over a year, or your condition will lead to your death

When you complete your Social Security Disability application, a local SSA or Disability Determination Service (DDS) office will process your application and consider the medical evidence for your claim to make a determination on your disability status. Having our experienced Social Security Disability lawyers in NYC on your side can help you provide accurate information on your application.

How to Apply for Disability Benefits

The SSA rejects many disability claims due to a lack of medical evidence or incomplete forms. The SSA may also deny your claim if you currently earn more than $1,000 per month.

However, if you have a condition similar to or more severe than a condition on the Listing of Impairments, the SSA may consider it valid to approve your disability claim. If your condition is not as severe as something on the list, the SSA will consider your work history.

To apply for Social Security Disability benefits in New York, you must complete the initial application. New York has historically approved initial applications at a slightly higher rate than the national average. The state has also approved applications at a higher rate than the national level for reconsiderations and hearings.

Reconsideration is the phase after an initial application rejection. During this phase, you can request that the office where you submitted your application review your application and reconsider their original decision. You only have 60 days from the original decision to request reconsideration of your application.

If the SSA office denies your application again, you can request a formal hearing. During the hearing, an administrative law judge (ALJ) will hear testimony, ask questions, and evaluate evidence for your disability claim. Having an experienced Social Security Disability attorney from our firm with you at the hearing can help you gather and present essential evidence for your claim.

It can take approximately 60 days after a hearing to hear from the judge about their determination. You have additional Social Security Disability appeal process steps available if the ALJ at your hearing denies your claim.

How an Attorney Can Help You Through the Social Security Disability Process

Social Security Disability Attorney in Queens

The Social Security Disability process can be confusing, and the local SSA offices may not have the resources to help you file your application correctly the first time. Contact us at Pyrros, Serres, & Rupwani LLP to help you through each step of the process to apply for disability benefits with Social Security.

We can help you complete your initial application accurately with the appropriate medical evidence for your claim, as well as file the necessary paperwork for reconsideration. If your claim goes to a formal hearing before the ALJ, we can help you find expert witnesses, medical documentation, and other evidence for your claim.

Contact an Experienced SSDI Attorney in New York

Applying for Social Security Disability benefits in New York is a complex process. Turn to our experienced attorneys at Pyrros, Serres, & Rupwani LLP to help you with your claim from step one. When you’re ready to begin the Social Security Disability process, call us at (718) 626-7730 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation.


Check out our FAQ to learn more about SSDI benefits.

How long does it take New York SSA offices to process disability claims?

The average wait time for an SSA hearing in New York State is 8.8 months, generally taking nearly a year total between the initial application and the ALJ’s final decision.

How many work credits do you need to qualify for SSDI?

The number of work credits you need to qualify for SSDI depends on your age at the time of disability. Between 21 to 24 years old, you need six credits. Between 24 to 30, you need six to 18 credits, depending on the age of your disability. Thirty-one or older requires at least 20 work credits in the previous 10 years.

Why was my claim denied?

The SSA denies disability claims for a number of reasons and doesn’t always inform an applicant why their claim was denied.

Learn more about the Social Security Disability process, request assistance with denied SSI disability claims, and more with our help.

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Michael C. Pyrros received his bachelor’s degree from American University in Washington, D.C. in 1985.
Michael Serres is a 1989 graduate of St. John’s University School of Law. Mr. Serres was admitted to practice law in New York.
Nicholas Rupwani has been practicing workers’ compensation law since August 2004.