The future of disability support from the government is looking bleaker day by day. 11 million people are expected to face a substantial cut in disability insurance benefits later this year if the Congress is unable to replenish sufficient funds in the Social Security’s disability (SSD) trust fund, according to New York Times. This could mean even higher rates of denial of disability benefits applications; currently more than half the applications are denied. Successfully proving their disability is the biggest obstacle claimants face and therefore requires expert legal assistance during and after the application process. If you or a loved one is considering applying for disability benefits due to a physical or mental disability, that is keeping you from engaging in “substantial gainful activity”, you might be eligible for social security disability benefits.
Do you fit the bill?
Before you start thinking about applying for SSD benefits it is important to know the eligibility criteria set by the SSA. The following is a brief look at the different factors to think about
- Disability – The most basic definition of disability by the SSA states that for someone to be considered disabled they have to have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months and causes them to be unable to participate in any kind of job (including their previous one). The SSA has a list of impairments it considers to be extremely limiting; if your disability is on that list your chances of qualifying are high.
- Earning requirements – the SSA requires you to be unemployed and to have worked for a certain period of time under Social Security, before your disability began, to be eligible.
- Prove that you cannot work after disability – Disability Determination Services decides, after consulting their own medical experts and your health practitioners, whether your condition limits you from performing your last job and any other job in the market.
The good news is that SSA has most of the information about SSD on its website. The bad news is that even if you feel you fit the criteria set by SSA, proving that you deserve disability benefits can be a real challenge. Most of the time, applicants do not fill out the application correctly, provide insufficient evidence and/or do not double check details to ensure all the information given is correct. Most applicants end up appealing the denial decision with a Request for Reconsideration or by taking their case to a relevant judge/courtroom. Due to the complexity of the criteria and application process, it is highly recommended that applicants seek legal representation from an experienced social security attorney who has in depth knowledge about SSD in Oklahoma.
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), a 20-year-old worker in the US has a 1-in-4 chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement age. Any kind of serious impairment can cause physical, mental and emotional distress that can affect your personal and professional life. High denial rates and long wait times can make you financially vulnerable at a time when you are unable to perform any economic activity optimally. You should hire a social security disability attorney in Oklahoma at any point in the process to have a better chance at being approved for benefits. Here at Atkins & Markoff, we understand how much you depend upon disability benefits, which is why we are dedicated to providing you with full support and aggressive representation. Our attorneys will help you through the application process for physical and mental impairments, disability hearings and Supplemental Security Income claims. To get started with one of our disability attorneys today, give us a call!
Note: This blog post is solely for informational purposes; the information provided does not confirm/guarantee the reader’s eligibility for the Social Security Disability program.