Before You Apply: What You Need To Know About Social Security Disability


The Social Security Administration is the federal government agency that administers Social Security. This is the social insurance program that encompasses retirement and survivor benefits, as well as Social Security disability insurance (SSDI).  

While this program is an important safety net for American citizens, the Social Security Administration is one of the most visible bureaucracies, frequently fraught with red tape that delays or denies deserved benefits. Here is what you should know before you apply for SSDI. 

Your Chances of Being Approved Are Low

You may have heard the Social Security Administration automatically denies benefits the first time you apply. This isn't true, however, an average of 65 percent of claims are initially denied. And because people are often operating under the myth that all initial claims are denied, they simply file a new claim again rather than file an appeal. Unfortunately, Social Security will likely just deny the claim again. 

Why Does Social Security Deny Two-Thirds of Initial Claims? 

There are many reasons the Social Security Administration may deny your initial claim. 

You Provide Insufficient Medical Support

If you're applying for total disability, you're going to have to prove that your medical issues prevent you from being able to work. And you're going to need strong documentation from your healthcare providers. For example, you may have a painful back condition that makes work difficult or impossible. But if you don't provide the medical records to prove your claim, you're going to be denied. 

You Don't Follow the Doctor's Orders

The Social Security Administration needs to see you have done everything you can to avoid total disability. If your doctor feels surgery would correct your medical condition, and you refuse, you'll be denied. If you're ordered to go to physical therapy, and you don't follow through, you'll be denied. You need to show you have fully cooperated with your healthcare team. 

You Were Previously Denied

When a Social Security Administration claims representative sees you have had one or more previous claims denied, they're not going to delve too deeply into a subsequent claim. They're just going to deny it and move on to the next person. 

You Make Too Much Money

Disability benefits are for people whose medical problems make it difficult or impossible to work full-time. If you continue working and earning as usual, they will naturally assume you are not too disabled to work and will deny your claim. 

You Don't Provide Additional Information

No matter how thorough you think you are on your application, the Social Security Administration may request additional information to support your claim. If you don't provide it in a timely manner, they will deny your claim. 

Hire a Social Security Disability Attorney First

Yes, you can file a disability claim on your own without legal representation, but consider the facts. Can you really afford to wait months for a decision just to be one of the 65 percent denied? Even if you have done everything right on your application, the odds are still against getting approved. 

Legal representation is even more important if you have already been denied. A disability attorney can handle your appeal and get you a hearing before the judge. Two-thirds of applicants hire legal representation for an appeal, and they are three times as likely to be approved for benefits as the unrepresented. 

Most social security attorneys work on a contingency fee, meaning you won't need to pay them upfront, and the Social Security Administration caps how much an attorney can charge you at $6,000

Legal representation is your right., and it's a right you should exercise. A social security disability attorney is far more experienced at knowing how to apply and what proof you need to provide. They also have the know-how to cut through the red tape. 

Talk to a social security attorney for more information. 


30 November 2021

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