If you had to appeal a negative Social Security Disability (SSD) decision, you are not alone. The Social Security Administration (SSA) reported that 2011 saw the highest number of SSD appeals. In 2011, the SSA received 859, 514 hearing requests, or appeals, and completed around 3.4 million disability claims. More than half of those claims -at least 1.7 million -- were initially denied. If you do the math, you'll see that around half of the people who were denied actually took the next step and appealed the negative decision.
Applicants who enlist the help of an advocate such as Binder & Binder stand a better chance of succeeding on appeal. Applicants can also give themselves other advantages. Some tips:
- Don't give up. File an appeal.
- Show up for appointments and meet deadlines.
- Provide complete information and updates.
- Don't waste time trying to correct the initial claim.
- Don't minimize the extent of your disability. Don't be proud.
- Get help. Around 75 percent of claimants who appeal have professional assistance.
Because the SSD system is so large, and because there are so many applications, individual claimants can get lost in the shuffle through no fault of their own. Following these rules and getting needed assistance when filing and appealing may tip the scales in the applicant's favor.
Source: Houston Chronicle, "Social Security Disability Appeals Reached New Record in 2011," February 7, 2012.