If you are living with a disability and are no longer able to work, you need support and legal guidance. Social Security Disability Insurance was created to act as a safety net for those struggling with a disability.
Although it is a huge benefit to families who are struggling, securing Social Security Disability Insurance benefits is surprisingly challenging. Since the program is run by the federal government, eligibility requirements are extremely strict. Applicants are required to provide a huge amount of documents and information in order to demonstrate that they are worthy candidates who deserve a monthly income despite being disabled.
The Social Security Administration takes a very dim view of fraud. So, each application is meticulously investigated and reviewed. So much so, that the denial of perfectly valid and legitimate claims is standard practice.
In aid of this, the application process is extremely complex and requires you to cover a lot of information. Making one mistake, misprint, or omitting even the smallest detail can disqualify you from receiving the benefits you need. Without prior training and experience, it is easy to be overwhelmed.
Fortunately, with the advice and help of disability insurance claims attorneys, you can improve your chances of submitting a successful application.
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Why Should I Work With a Disability Insurance Claims Attorney?
Under the guise of being helpful, the Social Security Administration has made the application available online and at your local Social Security Administration office. They have also set up a toll-free TTY number for those with hearing disabilities. However, while the application is easy to find, having it accepted is the truly challenging part. It is time to enlist the aid of an experienced disability claims lawyer when:
You Do Not Understand the SSDI Eligibility Requirements
Social Security disability benefits cannot be claimed solely on the basis of a medical condition. The requirements for qualifying are especially strict. They are split into two distinct types: work-related and medical. Before you even begin your application for SSDI benefits, you should speak with an attorney who can explain the various laws and provisions as they pertain to your specific application. Most reputable attorneys offer a free initial consultation, so you can seek advice on what you need to do and when you need to do it without any strings attached.
You Need to Strengthen Your Application
The Social Security Administration views every application as though it were fraudulent. In order for your application to even have a shot at being approved for the benefits you need, your application needs to be extremely detailed, including numerous forms and a laundry list of medical records and reports, certificates, and multiple forms and other official paperwork.
In hopes of convincing the Social Security Administration that both your medical condition and financial situation are not merely a scam, your application should contain certain key components, including:
- Accuracy: Be as detailed as possible about your employment status and medical condition(s). Keep in mind that if the SSA thinks you are overstating or exaggerating, no matter how severe your condition actually is, your application will be rejected.
- Evidence: Any claim made in your application must be backed by strong evidence, such as testaments, medical records, employment records, tax forms, receipts, bills, and more. If you fail to include even a single piece of paperwork or have any gaps not covered by documentation, your chances of approval virtually disappear.
- Urgency: If you do not submit your application in a timely fashion, it could be denied. You must submit your application as soon as you are no longer able to work.
Given that the system has been set up for you to fail, you need to partner with an attorney who knows what SSA officials want to see on your application. They can walk you through which paperwork and forms are mandatory and what information is crucial. A disability insurance claims attorney who has experience in disability law will be able to help you throughout the entire legal process.
You Do Not Want Your Application to Be Rejected
The government pays out tens of thousands of dollars in benefits to more than 9 million people every year. Although this figure sounds high, it is actually a very small percentage of the total population. In fact, out of the 330 million people in the United States, roughly 54 million live with one or more disabilities. So, only about 16% of the disabled population receives the benefits they need to make it from day to day.
This harsh reality is reflected in the application rejection rate. During the last two decades, over 70% of all benefits applications have been rejected by the SSA. In some years, that rate reaches as high as 80%. Out of those rejected, about 45% are denied on technical (non-medical) grounds.
Even with ample work credits, the medical evaluation alone disqualifies nearly 60% of all applicants. If, however, your application was denied on medical grounds, you might be eligible to file an appeal.
You Need Help With the Appeals Process
If your benefits application is rejected by the SSA on medical grounds, you have a few different options for appeal. One is to request a formal hearing in front of a judge. This process is similar to a court case, as it involves the opinion of medical professionals and your testimony.
Whether your benefits application has been rejected or you have not yet begun the application process, your best chance at success is to work with an experienced disability insurance claims attorney. More than 75% of all rejected applicants have qualified legal representation during the hearing process. Those with attorneys have about a 50% chance of achieving a successful outcome, while the odds of those without are less than 25% regardless of how serious their disability is.
Even if a judge does not rule in your favor, you have other options available to you in the appeals process. You can take your case in front of a council of judges. From there, you can take it to the federal court system. If you have made it this far, a skilled lawyer could make all the difference.