Recently, The Washington Post published an article written by a man regarding the shame he felt from needing Social Security disability following a stroke. In the piece, the man discusses how he worked his whole life, including 20 years as a process operator for Exxon, before suffering an ischemic stroke. However, since his stroke, he cannot work. Why? He cannot drive, there is no public transportation in the part of Texas where he lives and brain damage from the stroke has limited his reflexes. In addition, a few weeks after his stroke, his wife of 41 years lost her job.
At that point, he had to apply for Social Security disability benefits. Unfortunately, after getting through the mountain of paperwork, it took months before he underwent physical and psychological examinations by doctors. Following the examinations, he and his wife’s finances were reviewed. After that, they have had to wait.
As of this writing, it has been several months and he has yet to receive a disability check. Despite working all his life, he and his wife have been forced to apply for food stamps and ask family for money. As a result, while he feels grateful for the help they have received, he also says he has felt ashamed for needing financial assistance at all.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?
You technically do not need a lawyer to apply for Social Security disability benefits, but the process will go much more smoothly if you have an experienced Social Security disability benefits attorney handling your case. In many cases, people with disabilities are denied disability benefits when they first apply. Following a denial, the next step is to file an appeal, which is even more complex than the application process. Having a lawyer to help you with an appeal is again not necessary, but it can often be the difference between you securing disability benefits and not.
The North Carolina Social Security disability lawyers at Riddle & Brantley have been successfully guiding people with disabilities through the process of collecting disability benefits for years.