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Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability Attorney in Columbia, SC

Getting You The Benefits You Deserve

Suffering from a disability is taxing enough physically, mentally, and emotionally. However, if your disability prevents you from working, you must also tackle the financial strain of losing income.

How To File for SS Disability & Its Challenges

Social Security Disability benefits are designed to help those with disabilities gain the financial support they need. However, navigating through the Social Security Administration, with its complicated regulations and forms, can be challenging. There are three different methods to completing the application for Social Security benefits:

  1. Apply in person at a local South Carolina Social Security office to complete a paper copy
  2. Apply over the phone
  3. Apply for SSDI benefits online at

Initial Application

It usually takes about 4 – 6 months to receive a decision on your initial application. Unfortunately, the vast majority of applications are not approved. However, a denial at this stage doesn’t mean you won’t ultimately receive benefits since you have a right to file a request for reconsideration.

Filing a Reconsideration

A Reconsideration can be filed up to 60 days after the disability claim has been denied. A different claims examiner will review your application to see if the correct decision was made. You will be notified between 2 – 6 months after you submitted the Reconsideration. Even fewer applicants are granted benefits at this stage.

Requesting a Disability Hearing

If you’ve made it to this stage, we understand your frustration. Here is where you’ll request a hearing with an administrative law judge. This is done through filing a form called “Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge.” Average wait time for a hearing is 6 – 9 months and usually the judge will not render a decision for another 2 – 4 months.

If You’re Denied At Your Hearing

If you receive an unfavorable decision you can request that the Appeals Council reviews your case. If that fails, the final step in the process is to file a lawsuit in federal district court.

Here’s Where We Come In

At the Law Office of Nicholas G. Callas, P.A., our staff has extensive experience helping clients gain approval for disability benefits at all stages. This starts during the initial interview with the client, creating a plan to develop the necessary medical and vocational evidence, preparing documents and meeting potential witnesses. If a hearing is necessary, we will meet with you in advance and spend the necessary time to prepare you for the types of questions asked by the Administrative Law Judge. Hence, we prefer to get involved in a client’s case as soon as a decision to apply for social security disability benefits is made.

Social Security Benefits

To qualify for Social Security Disability (SSDI), you must meet a number of requirements. Your disability must last for longer than a year or be fatal and must prevent you from being able to do work you did before or other types of work. The disability can be a medical condition, a debilitating physical or mental illness, or a long-term injury. You also must have an established work history of jobs covered by Social Security.

SSDI benefits include:

  • Benefits missed from the time you become disabled to the time you began receiving SSDI
  • A monthly payment consisting of the amount of money you made before the onset of your disability
  • Medicare coverage, which will begin two years after you begin receiving SSDI benefits

SSDI Denied Claims

Many SSDI claims are denied initially. We will do everything he can for your appeal’s success. He will work with your doctor and healthcare team to gather evidence that works in your favor. There are several stages of appealing an SSDI denied claim. First, the appeal will be considered by the SSA again, and you can submit new evidence. If this doesn’t work, then the case can go to an administrative law judge. If unsuccessful, we then bring the case to the Social Security Appeals Council. The final option is to go before a federal district court.

Our team strives to get your case resolved as quickly as possible, because he knows the financial strain that a disability can cause when you are not receiving social security benefits. He will work with you throughout the entirety of the case, gathering the evidence and/or witnesses needed for your success.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

SSI is a program that is based on need rather than on your work history. If you have a permanent or long-term disability, are low-income, or don’t have a sufficient work history to receive SSDI, you may be eligible for SSI. You must have under $2,000 in assets (or, if you are married, under $3,000) to qualify for this program. Attorney Callas can work with you to determine if you are eligible for SSI and can help gather sufficient evidence to give you the best chance of approval for benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to go through the social security disability process?
Generally, claimants go through a three-step process. Initial application, reconsideration and hearing. Currently, the Columbia SSA office decides an initial application in about 4 – 6 months. If denied, you will have 60 days to file your first appeal, a request for reconsideration. A decision on the first appeal takes approximately 2 – 6 months. If you are denied at the reconsideration, then, a request for a hearing before an administrative law judge is filed. It take about 6 – 9 months before the hearing is set. Other jurisdictions in South Carolina vary in times between stages.

How are the amount of my benefits determined?
Your Social Security Disability (SSDI) monthly benefit is based on the amount of social security taxes you contributed over your working career. If you have not paid enough in social security taxes or have attained “enough credits,” you can still apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The 2019 maximum monthly SSI benefit amount in South Carolina is $771.00. You can find your monthly benefit amount by either calling your local SSA office or by creating an account at

What does SSA consider in determining whether I should be approved for benefits?
SSA will consider your age, work history, educational background along with medical evidence in their evaluation of your application for disability benefits. During our initial meeting, we go over your work history and educational background. Then we examine the medical evidence you have. Simply put, do your medical records adequately show your physical or mental limitations that prevent you from performing substantial gainful activity or working full-time? If not, we will go over some of your options in developing medical evidence.

How can a lawyer help me with a disability case?
First, we can explain the application and appellate process. Second, our staff can assist you in completing the various forms and request for information you will receive from SSA. Third, we will obtain medical records and evidence from your treating doctors in support of your case and ensure that all of your medical evidence is submitted prior to your hearing. Finally, if a hearing is necessary, we can tell you what to expect at the hearing and go over the likely questions asked by an administrative law judge.

What are the fees charged by an attorney in a disability case?
Fees charged by an attorney must be approved by the Social Security Administration. Our firm uses the standard federal contract which pays the representative a fee of 25 percent of the past-due benefits, not to exceed $6,000.00. Hence, if we are not successful in winning your case and obtaining past-due benefits, no fee is charged.

Law Office of Nicholas G. Callas P.A. in Columbia, SC

For more information about how we can represent you in your social security disability case, or to schedule a free initial consultation with Mr. Callas, contact us today at (803) 369-3968.

We look forward to giving you the best possible chance of receiving the benefits you deserve.

Law Office of Nicholas G. Callas PA
1901 Gadsden Street, Suite B
Columbia, SC 29201

Monday – Friday
8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
***Available after hours and by appointments***

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.