As a firm that has handled over 1,000 claims, we know from professional experience that the Social Security disability application process is notoriously difficult. In this post, we will focus on tactics for making sure your … [Read more...] about Don’t Leave Social Security Disability Money on the Table
Social Security Disability Benefits
Social Security disability is intended to provide support for people whose illnesses or injuries prevent them from earning a living. Workers in Ohio and around the country pay into the Social Security system as they work. That work history forms the basis for benefits if the worker becomes disabled during what would normally be working years. These benefits provide a safety net to help those who can no longer work pay for necessities such as housing, utilities, transportation, and nutrition. Social Security disability recipients are also entitled to Medicare coverage for medical care, even if they aren’t old enough to qualify for regular Medicare benefits.
Unfortunately, securing Social Security disability benefits can be challenging. In fact, most initial applications for Social Security disability benefits are denied. Untangling red tape and persisting in pursuing benefits can be difficult for anyone, and may be especially challenging for someone who is struggling with serious physical or mental health limitations. Too often, that means that an applicant who might be entitled to benefits gives up, or doesn’t know how to effectively fight for their rights.
The Social Security Disability Appeals Process
The Social Security Administration (SSA) appeal process is multi-tiered. The process begins with a request for reconsideration. Most claims are denied again at the reconsideration stage. Then, the applicant has a right to appeal and receive a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Success rates begin to improve at the ALJ stage. However, this hearing is more formal and requires presentation of evidence. It’s generally beneficial to work with an experienced Social Security disability attorney at this stage and beyond.
The next step is the Appeals Council and, if that’s not successful, an appeal in federal court. But at each stage, there’s significant drop-off: applicants who gave up or missed a deadline or just don’t know how to move forward. That means a lot of Social Security disability applicants never get the benefits they deserve, perhaps because they didn’t understand the process.
Or they may reapply a year or two down the road and ultimately get approved, but lose out on months or years of benefits. That’s because disability benefits are backdated to the original application. When a new application is filed, a new start date applies, and any benefits that might have accrued from the date of the original application are lost.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Getting accurate information and guidance in the appeal process can make all the difference. The posts in this section provide basic information about Social Security disability benefits and the application and appeal processes. If you’ve reached or are beyond the ALJ stage, an experienced Social Security disability benefits attorney is your best resource.
Social Security Disability benefits are intended to ensure a source of income for U.S. workers who become unable to work due to a long-term or terminal illness. Unfortunately, taking advantage of that safety net isn’t as … [Read more...] about My Social Security Disability Benefits Were Denied: What Now?