Does Social Security Disability Deny Everyone the First Time They Apply?

by Sep 15, 2017Disability Benefits

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A common myth among disability applicants is that Social Security Disability (SSD) denies everyone the first time they apply. Fortunately, this is not true. If you have a qualifying disability and good evidence, you should receive an approval with no problems.

That said, it is true that far more applicants receive denials than approvals on the first try. Unfortunately, the approval rate for appeals is even worse.

Before you begin applying for disability, it is important to understand what makes a winning claim. Your chances of success are better if you do not go through the process on your own.

An experienced disability attorney can help you put together the strongest claim possible that gives you the best chance of a first-try approval. Call the team at the Disability Advantage Group, for a free consultation today at 865-566-0800.

How Many Disability Applications Receive Denials?

In 2015, the Social Security Administration (SSA) only approved 32 percent of the applications it received for disability benefits. That means that 68 percent of applicants received a denial from the SSA.

This approval rate can vary widely depending on the state you live in. Even though the SSA uses the same criteria in all states to approve or deny applicants, interpretations of these criteria can vary by each state’s Disability Determination Service (DDS), the department that makes the decisions.

Can I Appeal a Denial?

If you received an unfortunate denial letter in the mail, the next step is filing a request for reconsideration, which is the SSA’s term for an appeal.

The term “appeal” makes it sound as though you get to argue your case and why you should receive an approval for benefits. In this case, all it really means is that a different examiner reviews your original application. That examiner uses the same criteria as the first one to make their decision.

For these reasons, many applicants receive another denial when they request an appeal.

What If the SSA Denies My Appeal?

If your appeal also receives a denial, you can request to have an administrative law judge (ALJ) review your case during a hearing. This is the point in the process where you get to stand in front of a judge and argue the merits of your claim. As a result, most applicants’ chance of approval goes up during the ALJ stage of the appeals process.

Why Do So Many Disability Claims Receive Denials on the First Try?

Most disability denials happen for one of three reasons. Our disability attorneys can make sure your claim does not fall short in any of the critical areas that the SSA uses to make its decision.

Your Condition Does Not Meet A Blue Book Listing.

The SSA uses a list of disability criteria it calls the Blue Book to decide which medical conditions are eligible for benefits.

If your condition meets the strict definition of a Blue Book listing, it is much easier to receive an approval on the first try. If it does not, then you will have to put extra work into your application, such as having your doctor fill out a thorough and convincing residual functional capacity (RFC) form. An RFC helps the SSA understand the extent to which your condition limits your ability to work. We can coordinate this process with your doctor.

Your Application Lacks Sufficient Medical Evidence.

Even if your condition does meet a Blue Book listing, you need substantial medical evidence to obtain an approval. This is especially true if your condition does not meet a listing in the Blue Book. After all, the person who reviews your application and makes the decision is not sitting in on your doctor appointments or shadowing you on a day-to-day basis. They have no way of knowing the extent of your limitations unless you spell it out for them with vivid evidence. We can help you gather this documentation and organize it in the most convincing way.

The SSA Feels There Are Jobs You Can Do.

Even if you can no longer continue at your current job, the SSA might deny your claim if it believes there are other jobs you can do. Your evidence needs to do a good job showing the full extent of your limitations.

How Can I Schedule a Free Consultation With an Experienced Disability Attorney?

Do you still have questions? The attorneys at the Disability Advantage Group, can help. Our specialty is giving our clients the best chances of approval the first time they apply for disability. If you have already received a denial, we can represent you throughout the appeals process.

With our help, you stand the best chance of getting the disability benefits you need to care for yourself and your family. Call 865-566-0800 now to set up a free consultation.