In 2018 alone over nine million United States residents received Social Security Disability insurance (SSDi) claims; over 2.75% of the entire US population. 1.85 million people applied for SSDi claims, and of those applicants, only 718 thousand were awarded it.
SSDi is a vital aspect of the lives of millions in this country, and not just those directly receiving it. Some receiving SSDi have dependents or are adult children whose parents rely on the added income to keep themselves financially afloat. For those million people who applied and were denied last year, they may be stuck in a legal-governmental limbo in which they can’t work and have been denied insurance.
For those stuck in this limbo, there is still hope! Every step of the SSDi application process allows for denial and reapplication. A good Social Security lawyer can help you through this process to make sure you don’t get denied for something as simple as forgetting an application or being unprepared at your hearing. The SSDi process can be time-consuming and difficult to navigate, but can be broken down into three basic steps:
Step 1: The Initial Application
Your initial application will require a full medical history to support your claim for disability insurance. The list of documents required for the initial application is quite comprehensive, but luckily there are resources available for finding out what you need. If you are still unsure about what you need, consult a social security lawyer.
Step 1B: Reconsideration
Only 30% of applications make it past their initial application, so don’t panic if you have to reapply. If you get denied, you have 60 days to apply for reconsideration.
Step 2: The Hearing
Once you make it past the application process, you will have to prepare for your hearing. For this, you will definitely need a lawyer. In a hearing, your case will be examined by medical professionals with the intent of finding a reason to deny you. A well-prepared case can stand up to this scrutiny, which is why you need to be well prepared.
Step 2B: The Appeals Council
If your case is denied after your hearing, you can request to appeal it before the Appeals Court. It is extremely rare for cases to be won here, so it is recommended that you prepare for your hearing well enough that you never have to go here.
Step 2C: Federal District Court
If you’re denied in Appeals Court, you can then request to be heard in Federal District Court. From here you may be sent back to the Social Security Administration (SSA) to be re-heard, or they can simply approve or deny your claim.
Step 3: The Final Step
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! Your final step is to file your initial application with the help of a Social Security lawyer with the SSA. Once that is done, it is important to learn your state’s specific disability rules.
If you have been unsuccessful at your attempts to claim SSDi, you may want to consider applying for private disability insurance or learning about your workplace disability policies. If you are a veteran, you may qualify for VA Disability insurance. No matter what you choose to do, a good disability lawyer can help you work out all your options and what will work best for you.