An article in the Motley Fool, an online personal finance magazine, provides insight into why so many Social Security Disability (SSD) claims are denied. It also points out some little known facts about the disability insurance program - an essential program that has been the target of many recent attacks by politically-motivated news stories.
Fact one: The need for disability benefits has grown in the past 15 years as the population ages and more women enter the workforce. The number of applications has almost doubled since 1999.
Fact two: Approval rates for SSD claims have "plunged," according to the article. Almost two-thirds of claims are rejected at the first level. Even the raw numbers, as opposed to percentages, have only increased slightly. In 1999, the Social Security Administration approved more than 50 percent of all SSD applications. By 2013, the rate of approval had fallen to 33.5 percent.
Given these two facts, it is important for people who apply for disability benefits to maximize their chances of approval. The article lists some tips such as these:
- Understand what you are asking for. This means learning how the SSA evaluates your applications for benefits. For example, if the SSA says that you are able to do a certain type of work even with your disability, the fact that you cannot find a job in that area will not change their minds. Claimants must establish that they are unable to work in the alternative field.
- Claims for disability benefits are often rejected simply because of technical errors. Don't leave any field blank or fail to include required information.
- Get the medical documentation before the SSA asks for it. Forcing them to ask you to supply missing records simply adds weeks or months to the time required to process your claim.
- Get work records that show what you have done and what you can do.
- Finally, get help with your claim. The law allows you to hire an advocate who can guide you through the process. This can make the difference between a long, drawn-out process and a timely ruling on your application.
This information has been brought to you by Binder & Binder®, America's most successful Social Security Disability advocates. They have many years of experience helping disabled workers with SSD claims and know how to develop benefit applications correctly. Call or email, tell them your story, and learn how they can help you.