If you have a medical condition that causes you to be disabled and unable to work for at least 12 months you may think you will automatically qualify for disability benefits. However, there are a four things that applicants should know about when they apply for disability benefits before they begin the application process.
1. Denial Rate is High
Based on stats one of the secrets about disability benefit approvals is that the denial rate is high for applications. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the average acceptance rate of initial applications is 22 percent. Approximately 63 percent of SSDI applications are denied.
There are a number of reasons why these denials take place, such as lack of medical evidence proving that the medical condition causes a disability and previous denials from earlier applications. Another reason is earning too much as disability benefits are for those who are unable to work or are very limited in what they can earn due to the disability.
Also, not following treatment prescribed by a doctor could lead to a denial as can failing to cooperate when the SSA asks for additional information. This doesn’t mean you should give up, as filing an appeal is a better option to take.
2. You Should Appeal and Not Start a New Application
If your claim is denied you will be sent a denial notice which will tell you the reason why your claim was denied. It will also tell you how long you have to appeal the decision. This appeal is called a request for reconsideration. At this stage you will need to provide supporting evidence that will change the decision to deny you disability benefits.
One of these can be asking your doctor to complete a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form which explains why your physical or mental condition prevents you from working in your usual job or if you could be trained for a different type of job.
If at the reconsideration stage your claim is denied you will have to request a hearing before an administrative law judge. You have a 50 percent chance of reversing the denial at this stage. The judge will want to hear opinions from medical experts regarding the severity of your disability.
3. It Can Take Months to Get a Decision
One of the social security disability secrets is the length of time it takes to process disability benefits claim. This is because there are many applications filed each year and it takes time for the SSA to process and review each one. If your disability benefits claim is approved you will receive back pay from the date you lodged the application.
4. Working with An Attorney
If you work with an attorney at the start of your disability benefits application you are more likely to win your claim as your attorney will know what you should include as evidence in your application. This is one of the secrets about disability benefits claim. If you or someone is disabled, you may qualify for disability benefits. Find out today.