Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Challenges of Applying for Social Security Disability

Insufficient information about the applicant's condition is one of the primary reasons that the Social Security Administration will deny a claim for benefits. Unless you are able to supply full and convincing evidence to prove that you have a physical or mental disability which makes it impossible for you to continue working, your application will probably be denied.

Ideally you will be able to submit a thick folder of medical records to document the development of your condition and the fact that you have been actively seeking treatment, but this is often not possible due to the fact that the applicant cannot afford health insurance. This poses a paradox: If your disability makes it impossible for you to pay for health care, how can you build the medical history to prove that you have a disability? Many people in this position seek care at local clinics for low-income patients or by working with doctors who cater to people seeking SSD benefits.

Beyond the task of proving your eligibility, you may also encounter difficulty in moving your claim through the system. The Social Security Administration states that the average claim should take between 3 and 5 months from the date of submission to the final decision. In practice, it is common to spend over a year waiting to learn whether you have been approved for benefits. Sometimes an application will get bogged down, and it is often helpful to make regular contact with the local Disability Determination Services office to ensure that they receive any additional information which may be necessary to expedite approval of the claim.

Given that you have a 2 out of 3 chance of being denied in your initial application, the odds are that you will have to request Reconsideration of your claim. Most applicants have to proceed to the next step of appeals, a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge, before being approved for benefits. If you are still denied, you may have to take your claim to the Appeals Council or even to a Federal Court.

The Social Security Administration allows applicants to hire legal representation to assist with the claims process. If you choose to do so, you may be able to avoid many of the common pitfalls which could force to you wait longer than necessary to receive benefits. To maximize your chances of success in your application, you should only choose an attorney whose practice is focused on Social Security Disability claims.

Disability Action Advocates has spent more than 15 years helping people from all walks of life with the challenging and often frustrating process of claiming Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. The team at DAA will assist you with every aspect of your claim, from helping you gather the necessary medical records and other evidence to fighting any attempt to delay or deny your benefits. A Las Vegas social security attorney from the firm will represent you if it is necessary to make an appeal of your claim, even going to Federal Court when it is appropriate. Their goal is to help you receive the benefits you need and deserve as quickly as possible.
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