Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) is one of our country’s most important safety nets. It’s also one that takes time to navigate. According to the Social Security Administration, only 34% of initial applications get an SSDI dispensation on their first try, and it takes an average of 101 days for those who do.
Most people who get denied Social Security Disability put in an appeal, and it’s on the appeal process where a social security disability lawyer can make a difference. A good lawyer specialized in social security disability claims knows more about the appeal process than you do, and can help you gather the evidence – and the medical documentation needed – to help your appeal.
Most SSDI claims that get denied are denied because of insufficient documentation of medical conditions, or insufficient documentation of lost work or income due to medical claims. In large part, this is because the Social Security Administrations procedures have, as a baseline assumption, a set of standards that have to be met for a claim – and those claims need to be substantiated to provide permanent disability.
One particular point where applicants make mistakes is on demonstrating that the disability will hinder the applicant for a period of at least 12 months. This means that people who delay their applications, particularly for temporary disabilities, can significantly hinder their chances at getting a successful outcome. If you’re having trouble working because of a disability, don’t put it off. Start the application off earlier rather than later, and talk to a lawyer if your initial application has taken more than ten weeks. It may be worthwhile to hire a lawyer as part of the initial application process rather than wait for an appeal to trigger.
If your initial claim falls short, it’s tempting to fall into a funk. Don’t. Get your appeal started immediately, and get help. Talk to a professional. Have them review all documentation that you’ve been given by the Social Security Administration, and have them review all transcripts of interviews. They’re much likelier – with a lot of experience in social security law – to find things you’ve overlooked or haven’t included.
Have your attorneys contact your former employers and your doctors to get the record support and documentation of medical conditions, treatments and lab results. A good social security disability lawyer will be a zealous advocate for your case, and will be passionate about getting you the support that you need.
Above all else, don’t fall into the trap of believing that just because you’ve been told “no” that you don’t deserve the help. Social security disability payments are part of your legal rights as a US citizen, even if you have to go to great lengths to secure them.