Understanding the Essentials of the Disability Appeal Process
Appealing for disability benefits can become daunting if you don’t know the law, eligibility criteria, appeal process, and other details. A significant portion of disability applications are denied due to a lack of or misunderstanding of the appeal process and failure to consult an experienced attorney. Here are some essentials to know about the appeal process and why it is important to hire an attorney as early as possible.
The first step in the appeals process, is known as the request for reconsideration. More cases than not fail to make it beyond this stage in the process. If you’re appealing your denial for disability benefits, your most vital chance of getting your application approved is usually at the second or third stage of the process. For the first time, you’ll have the opportunity to present live testimony and detailed evidence in support of your case.
With the help of a seasoned attorney, you can improve your likelihood of getting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Expert Guidance through the SSDI/SSI Appeals Process
According to the latest available government statistics, in 2018, Survey Statistics, 45% of SSDI applications and 18% of SSI applications result in a technical denial each year in the U.S. Most SSDI applications are initially denied, mostly due to incomplete application or insufficient medical evidence.
Due to the increasing number of denied applications, it is advisable to hire a professional Social Security attorney. The SSA rules vary from state to state. Therefore, you should consider hiring an attorney near you who is familiar with the rules in your state. The experience and expertise of a Social Security attorney can increase the chances that your SSDI or SSI application will be approved. According to the latest available statistics entitled the Effect of Lawyer on Approval Rate, social security benefits applicants who hired an attorney were more than twice as likely to get their application approved.
Hiring an attorney can also help you move your disability appeal process forward in court in your favor. SSDI Approval Rate statistics show that that the chances of winning your case improve dramatically by a margin of 25% when you request a hearing, and especially when you have the help of an attorney. Thus, hiring an attorney can have a strong impact on the outcome of your appeal.
So, no matter what stage your appeal process for SSDI is in, the involvement of a highly experienced attorney will definitely improve your application.
How does an SSD attorney help strengthen your case?
Considering that SSDI applicants are not familiar with the process, it can be quite difficult for them to understand and prepare the required documentation and other essentials in accordance with SSA. This enhances the chances that their application will get denied. When you hire an expert Social Security attorney, here is how he or she can help you with your case:
- Apply experience and knowledge of eligibility criteria;
- Demonstrate how your condition corresponds with disability listings; and
- Cross-examine medical and vocational experts in support of your claim.
A Social Security attorney will represent you throughout the appeals process. At your hearing, the objective is simple. Your attorney will present your medical records, employment documents, and circumstances to prove your disabling condition.
Your attorney will also work tirelessly to prove that you cannot engage in the substantial gainful activity (SGA), meaning that you are unable to earn more than a set amount per month due to your disability For you to qualify, your total disability must have lasted, or be expected to last at least 12 months. Disabilities expected to lead to death may also qualify you for benefits.
The SSDI law is based on various facts and figures, which can be difficult to understand. Even if an applicant for social security benefits thoroughly goes through the rule book, it may not be possible to keep up with changes and new additions to the SSDI rules, laws and procedures. Therefore, the additional support of a seasoned attorney will add value to your SSDI application.
Your disability must be medically determinable. Such conditions include:
- Neck or back problems, including degenerative disc disease
- Neurological disorders
- Psychiatric illness
- Heart disease or other cardiovascular illness
- Respiratory problems, and
- Medical conditions that are hard to diagnose, including chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia or sympathetic reflex dystrophy
Are you worried about the fees of the SSDI attorney?
You may feel a lot of financial pressure due to a loss of wages and having to pay medical expenses, especially if you are supporting your family. Adding another expense by hiring an SSDI attorney can seem prohibitive. Do not be worried; most SSDI law firms work on a contingency basis, which means that they only claim their fees when you win the case. The fee payable to the attorney is directly debited from your claim amount. Therefore, the claimant doesn’t actually have to pay the attorney out of pocket.
With this information, it is easier for you to get your SSDI application started, so do not delay. Apply for disability benefits as soon as you are able.