The Social Security disability application process can be very complicated. Being approved for benefits can be quite a challenge. The approval rate for disability varies from state to state as well as throughout the different levels of the application process, but the national average indicates that about 36% of applicants are approved for benefits.
So, when put into perspective, 64% of initial applicants are denied. You can appeal your initial denial by filing a request for reconsideration. The reconsideration appeal has the lowest approval rate of all disability case levels with a national average of only 13.8%. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has stringent guidelines regarding disability benefits approval.
Completing Your Claim Form in Detail and With Accuracy
There are many reasons that claims for disability benefits are denied, but there are also changes that you could make to your claims process that could significantly increase your odds of being approved for benefits. Many people fail to complete the form in detail. You cannot leave any blanks. You need to be very descriptive and explain how you have been impacted by your illness or injury.
You need to fully describe how your medical condition has impacted your life and how your daily activities have changed. As an example, if you used to be able to play basketball with your children but now you can’t even walk without a mobility device or stand more than an hour, that should be indicated.
Documentation is Key
Making sure you have properly documented your condition and included the appropriate evidence is essential in proving your case. You need to include all your medical records including doctor visit notes, physician notes, documentation regarding limitations and restrictions, test results, therapy and treatment plans and their results, surgical notes, prescription records and any side effects from the medication, how your condition has progressed, and how you are affected by any symptoms you suffer from your medical condition.
Medical evidence is the main necessity in proving the severity of your condition and how it has negatively impacted your daily life and your activities.
Not Having the Support You Need
If you are seeking disability benefits, you can benefit significantly from the assistance of an attorney or an advocate. Those who are represented by a lawyer are much more likely to be awarded disability benefits. Attorneys and advocates understand the process, so they will make sure your application is completed in detail, you have all your medical records and supporting documentation in order, and that you have provided everything that is need to prove to Disability Determination Services that you are unable to work and you are fully disabled.
The final step in a disability claims process is a hearing before an administrative law judge. The judge will decide whether you meet the SSA criteria for being deemed disabled. An attorney is very beneficial in this stage of the disability process and can prepare you for the hearing and provide support when you appear before the judge.