Applying for Disability: How to Boost Your Chances
Whether you’re pursuing benefits from SSI (Supplemental Security Income) or SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), getting your application approved is a lot harder than you might think. Statistics show that, on average, anywhere between 50% and 70% of applications to receive benefits are denied, to the annual dismay of hundreds of thousands of rejected Americans. The disability application process in Pennsylvania is designed to weed people out — often, even when they deserve to be planted instead. So, with the cards stacked against you, is there anything you can do to help bolster your chances of being approved?
How to Increase Your Chances at Receiving Benefits
First of all, you should know that even if the worst happens, and your initial application for benefits is denied, you have the right to either re-apply from scratch or make one or more appeals to swing the result. But, having to wade through the murky waters of the often draining and protracted appeals process is a step (or many steps) most Americans would just as soon avoid where possible. With the goal of “winning” the first time around, here are some tips on how to nudge the odds in your favor.
Cover Your Medical Bases
Make sure your disability “counts.” While it might seem crass to say that some disabilities “count more” than others, this is essentially the view taken by the SSA (Social Security Administration), which controls and monitors SSDI and SSI. Fortunately, the SSA does consider a wide variety of disabilities, injuries, and impairments “bad enough” to make it onto the list of conditions which are eligible to prompt a need for financial aid. You can check if your condition is acknowledged by the SSA here.
Then, if you can, try to get support from your physician, who can supply medical statements detailing what your limitations are, and why you are unable to work. Your physician can also supply medical records, which should be included with your application (including any appeals).
Keep a close eye on deadlines. While you might be able to get extensions for most deadlines in life, social security deadlines are not among them. They are rigidly enforced, and if you miss one, you’re out of luck. (Additionally, if your initial application is rejected and you miss the appeal deadline, you will be forced to submit from scratch.)
Keep an eye on the status of your case, as well as the calendar date. It’s normal for the application review process to take several months, but if it’s been much longer than that, it’s probably a good idea to check up on your claim’s status. You can do this either by calling your local social security office and discussing the matter with a disability claims representative or by checking online.
Getting a disability claim approved is a challenge. But with Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates on your side, you can breathe a little easier. Contact a disability lawyer now to explore your case.