If you have applied for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits and your initial application was denied, you are not alone. Last year, nearly 65 percent of applications submitted to Social Security Field Offices were denied.
You may have become even more discouraged if you went on to the reconsideration stage, where less than 10 percent of appeals are successful. This is usually the case because reconsideration appeals are handled at the same agency that denied your initial application. There might be a different examiner, but it is unlikely the new examiner will overturn the decision of the first one unless there’s an obvious error.
“This doesn’t mean you should give up hope,” said Christopher J. Grover, attorney, Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys, PLLC., “There are several reasons that the Field Office applications and reconsideration are denied. Often there is a question that Social Security needs a judge to answer, so you need to appeal that case again in order to have a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge.”
Typical reasons examiners deny claims are due to these findings:
- The applicant is capable of doing work other than what he/she previously worked at — 41.4 percent.
- The impairment was not severe enough — 24.1 percent.
- The person could continue at their usual job —10.6 percent.
- The impairment will not last more than 12 months —4.8 percent.
- Other, undisclosed reasons — 19.5 percent.
There are, however, four different levels of appeals, and with the expertise and support of an attorney who handles a large number of SSD claims, you can be successful.
“The question is, how do you submit a claim that’s going to prove your impairment prevents you from working in any full-time job in the national economy?” Grover said. “That’s where an attorney who is experienced in the SSD appeals process can really make a difference in helping get a denial overturned.”
Claims are usually denied because the applicant has not supplied sufficient information or supporting documents with their application, or because the SSA, which has a specific list of impairments, doesn’t believe the applicant’s disability meets the criteria for one of those impairments. Attorneys like Grover have expertise in knowing how to provide the right medical and vocational documentation to prove your claim fits the SSA’s listings, and that you cannot work either at your previous job or any other job in the national economy.
The attorneys at Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys, PLLC, have been helping SSD applicants get their benefits for more than 40 years, and over the past five years, have been successful with more than 63 percent of their cases. They offer free consultations over the phone due to the current COVID-19 stay-at-home restrictions.
If you or someone you know is facing an uncertain future because physical or mental health issues may prevent you from returning to work, call 716-856-7091 or 800-343-8537.