Social Security Disability Benefits

You have paid into the Social Security system for a financial safety net. If you are disabled to the point you cannot work, you can apply for disability benefits.

However, the social security disability process is a legal proceeding and a lawyer is needed.

The chart below shows the percent of disability claims that are successful. Look at the top right-hand box for the percent of denials. It’s 65%! The next important number is in the center on the 3rd row. Just 45% of all disability hearings before a judge end with an approval. These are statistics for the entire country.

NOSSCR Newsletter – March 2019, Vol 41 No. 3

In Savannah, only 29 percent of initial filings are approved and in only 48 percent of hearings before a judge disability is approved.

It usually takes two years from the time that an application is made to the time that the benefit is approved. This journey is long and complex, so it’s crucial to have a good attorney to represent you.

The law office of Garnett Harrison will:

  • make sure ALL records showing your work history and medical conditions are available.
  • summarize your medical history so that adjudicators and judges have everything they need.
  • submit a legal memorandum on your behalf.
  • Schedule a trial prep before the hearing so that you answer the judge’s questions to the best of your ability.

The fact is that in the past several years, the disability process across the U.S. has developed a backlog of cases. The Washington Post reported that in 2016 the number of people waiting to hear about their benefits after a hearing doubled—from 35,000 to 70,000. This backlog means some people never see their benefits. The same Washington Post article found that in 2017 10,002 people died while waiting for a decision

Garnett Harrison Law Office can ease your stress during this overwhelming and intimidating process. They can tell you exactly how the law applies to your situation.

Our attorneys understand the complex mix of medical documentation, legal deadlines, and judges. The table below shows the approval rates for Savannah administrative law judges.

2018 Approval Rates for Administrative Judges in Savannah District

JudgeRate of Approvals
Constance Carter41%
Paul Carter52%
Donald Fishman39%
Craig Peterson39%
Geoffrey Casher34%
Antony Saragas41%
Robert Foerster66%
Morton Gold32%
John Maclean49%
John Mason57%

All disability claims, regardless of the judge, must show physical or mental problems backed up by clear medical evidence.  Your attorney tightly connects your information to Social Security’s expectations for functioning at work. She will connect the dots to get a win.

We have a social security advocate, Casey McConnell, who is personal, compassionate, and experienced. She works exclusively with social security cases. If you or a family member need honest advice about filing for disability, please call the law office for a free consultation at 912.882.1131. Ms. McConnell helps prepare cases for hearings. Ms. Harrison goes to the hearing with you.

Our firm is a proud member of the National Association of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSCCR)

It is a national organization whose mission is to ensure that individuals with disabilities and applying for Social Security Disability and SSI benefits have access to quality representation and receive favorable decisions.

239 East King Avenue
Kingsland, GA 31548

P.O. Box 3065
Kingsland, GA 31548