Individuals who apply for social security disability benefits must prove that they are unable to work due to a physical, mental, or emotional disability or impairment. The definition of “disability” means that the individual is completely unable to work or is unable to earn a set amount of income each month. This is unlike other assistance programs like Worker’s Compensation or veteran’s disability benefits which can allow payments for partial disabilities. The disability must last at least twelve months or be projected to last that long.
Many times, applicants are denied social security disability benefits, even if they believe they have a legitimate claim. Medical records are crucial when trying to gain benefits. Claimants must list all treatment, doctors, and medical conditions, even if they think they are insignificant.
The first thing an applicant must do upon denial is file a reconsideration of the denial with the Social Security Administration. There is a time limit for this, so it is important not to delay. Some applicants make the mistake of starting an entirely new claim, which is unnecessary and can delay eventual benefits. If the reconsideration is denied, then the applicant should file an appeal. Reconsiderations have a high rate of denial, so the claimant should be prepared for an appeal.
Filing for social security disability benefits can be complicated, lengthy, and frustrating. It is in the best interest of claimants to retain the services of an attorney who specializes in social security law. The appeals process can be especially exhausting, and claimants have a better chance of winning with the help of an attorney.