Are you angry and frustrated about your Social Security disability claim? I find many of my clients express anger and frustration about their Social Security disability claim. There may be a variety of reasons that they feel this way. It’s easy to understand how you might be frustrated when you are unable to work and provide for yourself and/or your family while facing physical and/or mental disabilities. This blog will cover some of the things I frequently discuss with my clients.
Why did they deny me when other people are receiving Social Security disability when they don’t deserve it? It is important to remember that every case is different. Sometimes a person’s disability can be something you cannot see. What you consider an undeserving neighbor may be someone suffering from severe mental conditions. Also, there are specific rules that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has that can make it easier to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The SSA can consider a person’s age, education, and prior work experience to meet certain vocational guidelines that could make it easier to receive benefits. With such a large disability program covering so many people, there may be undeserving individuals that fall through the cracks, but overall, we are lucky to live in a country where our disabled are taken care of.
Why is it taking so long? Many of my clients find themselves unable to pay for food, rent, and essential needs during this lengthy process. Unfortunately, the SSA is way behind in processing claims. This is probably the most common question I receive, and I can make no excuses for the process. The lack of available staff to process claims and Administrative Law Judges to hold hearings on those claims is frustrating to claimants and the Social Security Disability Attorneys representing them. It is important to reach out to family, your local trustee, and any other government and non-governmental agencies to try to get help. The SSA does award back pay for the long wait when warranted, but this is only settled once your case is found favorable.
My doctors won’t help me. I have found many doctors do not want to get involved in Social Security disability claims. In my experience, a physician willing to complete forms regarding the limitations your disabilities cause and statements about why you are unable to work can go a long way to support your claim. However, I win many cases without these statements or opinions. What is most important is that you receive consistent medical treatment. You should see your physicians on a regular basis, if needed. A complete medical record with objective testing and progress notes may help convince the SSA and an Administrative Law Judge you are disabled.
Why do I have to go to a hearing? Most Social Security disability claims end up at an Administrative Law hearing. This is a hearing where a Judge can make a new decision about your claim independent of the prior decisions made at lower levels of Social Security. This also gives you a chance to appear in person and explain your case with or without the help of an attorney.
My office understands the frustration and anger toward this process. We attempt to be patient and explain what you can expect along the way. It is important to remember we are on your side. While we can’t control the wait times, we strive to prepare your case in such a way as to give you the best opportunity for a favorable outcome.
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Author: Scott Lewis