If you are applying for SSI or SSDI benefits, it’s probably best to lower your expectations and get help from an experienced Social Security disability attorney. According to a pamphlet that the Social Security Administration (SSA) publishes titled, “Outcomes of Applications for Disability Benefits,” more than 70 percent of all initial disability claims are denied. That figure changes dramatically, however, when an applicant appears for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. Administrative law judges approved benefits for 56 percent of the claimants who appeared before them in 2013.
An applicant may be found disabled if he or she has an impairment listed in the Social Security “Blue Book,” has an impairment equivalent to a listed impairment, or has a severe impairment that makes the applicant unable to work. Claims can be denied if an applicant has an impairment that is not expected to last twelve months, is able to perform his or her usual work or another kind of work, or provides inadequate medical confirmation of a disability.
Good disability attorneys are undoubtedly the main reason why more claims are successful at the hearing level. An experienced disability attorney will work to document your claim, update any important data in the case, and even seek out witnesses to verify your disability. Several other factors may also contribute to the higher approval rate at the hearing level; the administrative law judge has to look you in the eye, and if your claim is denied, the judge is required to justify his or her decision.
So be persistent and do not give up. Your odds of receiving SSI or SSDI benefits are significantly higher when you pursue an appeal and work with an experienced disability attorney. If you have become disabled and are unable to work for any reason, hiring a good disability lawyer dramatically increases the likelihood that you will be awarded SSI or SSDI benefits. If you are applying to receive SSI or SSDI benefits, or even if you are only wondering if you qualify for benefits, you should speak with an experienced disability attorney as quickly as possible.