Social Security Disability Benefits
Wednesday, January, 2, 2013
You may have recently read various articles about the growing backlog of people applying for Social Security Disability Benefits. Currently, there are over 728,000 Americans waiting for appeal hearings. These are people who have applied, have been initially denied benefits, and have chosen to ask for an appeals hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
Disability claims have clearly grown during the period of economic downturn. Many people who previously had significant disabilities were able to hold on to their old jobs when economic times were good. During the downturn, people who have been on the fringe of employability often lose their jobs and find that due to disabilities, there is no other work available.
The Social Security Administration has made significant advances in the last few years in processing disability claims in an attempt to streamline the appeal process. It is now possible for us to file our initial claims and appeals on-line. Attorneys representing you can review your Social Security record on their office computer. Pressure has been placed on Administrative Law Judges to hear more cases and to resolve some in advance of hearings.
Most people who ask about and eventually apply for Social Security Disability have significant physical and/or psychological problems. Many are still denied benefits due to lack of preparation. Only thirty-six percent of claimants filing for disability receive it at the time they initially file. The key to increasing your odds for success is clearly organization and preparation. The following are brief comments to increase your chances for success in a disability claim:
Be prepared to review all of your physical and psychological issues, not just your primary problems. Think about your body from head to toe. What problems do you have? Even include medical issues that have been a part of your life from childhood. Do any of the problems limit your ability to work from day to day?
Visit your doctors on a regular basis and complete tests that are recommended. People with significant disabilities will not win their disability claim without supportive medical documentation.
Consider using an attorney to help organize your case and file your claim or appeal. If you have filed and been denied, meet with your attorney as early as possible after being denied. Whether an initial filing or an appeal, visit our website at http://www.owmlaw.com/practice/social_security_disability.php. Use the social security disability organizer to help you prepare your case, http://www.owmlaw.com/PDF/SSDI_SSIWorksheet.pdf.