Statistics show that disability claimants are twice as likely to have their claim approved at a hearing if they have an attorney.
Can an attorney help when trying to qualify for disability?
The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program provides monthly benefits to individuals who are unable to work because of severe disabilities. It is available to workers who have paid FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) taxes on their wages for the required number of years. SSDI also provides benefits to disabled widows and widowers of workers who are at least 50 years old and to children who became disabled before reaching the age of 22.
Although this program supplies vital financial assistant to disabled workers and their families, applying for SSDI is a long and frustrating process.
Even the Social Security Administration acknowledges that “Applying for disability benefits can be a difficult experience for individuals with disabilities, not only because of the complexities of the program but also because of their disabilities.” The very process of completing and filing an application may intimidate a person with disabilities and cause them to feel anxious.
Sixty-five percent of applications are denied on their initial submission.
Sometimes it’s because Social Security doesn’t agree that the medical records support disability. Sometimes it’s because there is a problem with the paperwork. If the claim is denied, the process can drag out for months and months. Having a qualified Social Security disability lawyer that you can talk to during the lengthy wait is critical.
If you have been denied disability benefits don’t give up! Contact a Disability lawyer at 512-454-4000 for a free consultation and get the benefits you deserve.
The SSA definition of disability is strict and an individual must have at least one condition that satisfies that definition of disability:
“To meet our definition of disability, you must not be able to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) because of a medically-determinable physical or mental impairment(s):
- That is expected to result in death, or
- That has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.”
Claims that meet SSA’s Bluebook Listing of Impairments will be approved.
Not all disabling conditions fall under the Bluebook Listings, however. You can also be approved based on other factors. Some conditions cause functional limitations that affect a person’s ability to work. Age, education, and past relevant work are also a factor. It gets complicated and having an experienced attorney is invaluable.
Those proportions are now changing and more people are qualifying for SSDI based on functional capacity and vocational factors while fewer are qualifying under impairments.
As a result of improved medical treatments, it is no longer assumed that a person who qualified under an impairment listing is disabled, and more claims involve a mental impairment or combined physical and mental impairments, which are difficult to adjudicate.
Individuals with disabilities can also face other challenges when applying for SSDI benefits including:
- They may not be able to read and/or write.
- They may not speak English.
- They may not have access to a computer.
- There are few registered Social Security offices.
- They may have physical limitations.
- They may not understand why their claim has been denied and do not know whether or not to appeal.
Many people with disabilities find the applications difficult to complete and file.
Initial claims are denied for any number of reasons but most common are:
- Lack of sufficient evidence of disability.
- Paperwork errors.
- Procedural issues.
And this is where an experienced Social Security disability lawyer can provide assistance and smooth the process.
An attorney can:
- Help you determine your eligibility for benefits.
- Gather information and submit necessary documentation.
- Review and compile medical records.
- Obtain medical assessments and documentation of your condition from medical providers.
- Keep up with important deadlines.
- Prepare you for administrative hearings.
- Cross examine and question experts hired by the Social Security Administration.
An attorney will make sure you understand everything in your application before filing.
You will also have a support system throughout the claims process; someone who will be able to answer your questions or clarify an issue without having to wait for a response from the SSA. Statistics show that disability claimants are twice as likely to have their claim approved at a hearing if they have an attorney.
Disability benefits are an important source of income for those who are unable to work. If you have a disability and it has impacted your ability to work, you may be eligible for Social Security or Long-term disability benefits. If you have applied for benefits and been denied, contact the attorneys at Bemis, Roach and Reed for a free consultation. Call 512-454-4000 and get help NOW.
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