Going by the statistics of the SSA (Social Security Administration), approximately 9 million Americans were granted benefits for at least part of 2015. While this is indeed a huge number, the SSDI program has in fact been declining around 65% of all applications over the last ten years. Disability benefits are granted on the basis of a review of all pertinent medical records to determine the legitimacy of the claim. This is what disability lawyers also do before accepting a case, for which they utilize reliable medical record review services. Disability applications are usually denied for medical reasons when the documentary evidence for the disability in question is lacking. They are also denied due to some or other technical error related to the applicant’s work history such as failing to include the required information or providing incorrect or inadequate explanations.
Here are some important pointers that will help applicants increase their chance of winning their claim.
- The applicant must be unable to work on account of a medical condition. This can be physical or mental in nature and is expected to last at least one year or result in death. A person who has been unable to work or was unwell for a few months does not qualify, even though the disability may be a serious one.
- The applicant’s treating physician must be willing to confirm his/her disability and provide proof of the same via reliable medical records.
- The applicant may be denied benefits if he/she is found to be able to engage in other alternative forms of employment.
- Applicants must have a disability that is expected to last at least a year, and must also pass the “earnings tests.” These include the “recent work test” where the claimant must have worked for a minimum length of time for his/her age before becoming disabled. For instance, a 24-year-old person must have worked 1.5 years during the 3-year period ending with the quarter when the disability set in. The “duration of work test” is the second earnings test which establishes that the applicant has worked long enough under Social Security to become eligible for disability benefits.
A disabled worker’s spouse or unmarried child can qualify for benefits based on his/her work history depending on their personal circumstances such as marital status, age and so on. A person’s unmarried child can qualify for his/her own disability benefits if the disability occurred before they turned 22. In this case, the SSA waives the work requirements if the disability set in before the person attained the age of 22 by enabling him/her to claim their parent’s work credits.
Disability applicants approach qualified lawyers to handle their case – to file an application or appeal on their behalf in case of a denial. Lawyers assist their clients in obtaining all relevant medical documentation and presenting it to the SSA after a thorough medical record review so that the claim can be processed more efficiently.