October 19, 2021

How To File Social Security Disability Claims

Social Security Disability claims are intended to provide income and support for individuals who are no longer able to be gainfully employed. The claimant will have injuries, illnesses or mental issues that make it impossible to continue in the type of employment that has been done previously. Further, the claimant will be unable to perform other types of work that might allow for financial support. The condition is expected to last at least two years.

Social Security Disability Claims

The monies for Social Security Disability benefits come from the Social Security funds that are withheld from employee pay checks and matched by a payroll tax on the employer. The payments are determined according to a formula. And are adjusted when appropriate annually when the cost of living increases support it.

The process of making a claim legally can be done by any individual on their own behalf. However, statistically success in being granted benefits is more likely to occur if the claimant is represented by a qualified expert in the field. There are legal firms that are able to help with the preparation and documentation of the claims so that the decision in favor of the claimant is positive. The claimant might be referred to a second medical professional to get additional support for the level of disability.

The initial step of applying for disability is relatively simple. The claim is presented at the local Social Security office where a disability examiner sends for the medical records and performs the initial review. An interview is required, but it can be handled over the phone if need be. Most people are encouraged by this part of the process, thinking that the rumors about waiting times are overstated.

That being said, the process of getting the claim approved has been made so difficult and complex that the majority of people simply give up after one or two or even more attempts. These are people that have legitimate disabilities. The waiting period is so long that there may be no way to survive financially during the time spent awaiting the decision. Statistics show that almost two-thirds of claimants are denied on the first claim.

Claimants may spend two or three years awaiting a decision, particularly if there is an appeal in the works. Waiting times are usually three or four months at a minimum for each stage of the process. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done to speed up the process. Even though having representation improves the likelihood of getting the claim approved, it may not happen much faster. You might be able to cut back one appeal, but it is not guaranteed.

The original application is handed to the local office of the Social Security Administration. Appeals proceed upward through various levels, including judicial reviews. Although it is not recommended. Some claimants don’t appeal, they simply file a different claim.

Social Security Disability claims are continuing to increase. This may be due in part to the difficulty in finding jobs for those who are disabled. When healthy and young people are being laid off, it is difficult to justify hiring someone who is able to perform at a limited level. Because more people are making claims for benefits, disability examiners are falling even further behind.

For more information, visit http://www.ssa.gov/pgm/disability.htm

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