Categorized | Disability

10 Things You Need To Know About Social Security Disability

Are you wondering whether you qualify for Social Security Disability? Is the application process confusing you? What about appeals and decisions? The following are 10 basic things that you should know about Social Security Disability (SSD) –

1. Medical Qualification – The medical eligibility of the applicant would be determined by Disability Determination Services (DDS) with the help of a 5 step process. You have to conclusively prove that your disability or impairment is determinable medically and is severe enough to stop you from working.

2. Applying for SSD or SSI – Application is a simple process as you are assigned a representative. However, you must understand the SSD approval system to receive the benefits you deserve.

3. Conditions With Better Chances – It is a common misconception that conditions in the Blue Book have better chances of winning disability benefits. It is not your condition but the functional limitations imposed by that condition that determine your benefits.

4. Improving Approval Chances – Statistically, 70% initial applications are denied but approval rate for Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) cases are 50%. The reasons could be varied – from worsening of condition to lack of appeals when people think that their case is not strong enough. However, hiring experienced lawyers like considerably improves approval chances.

5. Strategy Tips – The best tips offered by most is to understand social security disability law inside out. It also helps to understand how the system works. This can be done by hiring a proper lawyer with experience in similar cases.

6. Disability Criteria – Apart from having the medical qualifications to get disability benefits, your condition must last for at least a year. It should stop you from engaging in any substantial gainful activity ($1,090 every month). Durational denial is common when the SSA thinks that the condition would not last for 12 months.

7. Expected Time for Case – SSA takes forever to process the cases and usually, even after your case is heard by an ALJ, it could take around 3 years for the entire thing to end.

8. Chances of Appeal – Chances are improved by as much as 60% if a disability lawyer is hired. Winning an appeal can depend on the progress of the condition over time.

9. Time Limit for Filing Appeal – The ALJ deadline is 60 days from the last denial date of the claim which can be found on the denial letter.

10. Potential Outcome and ALJ’s Decision Time – There is absolutely no connection between how long the ALJ takes to come up with a decision and the expected outcome. A case can be kept open for as long as the ALJ wishes.

Learn as much as you can about social security disability law so that you are prepared and don’t forget to hire a good lawyer.

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