Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Depression and giving up on Social Security Disability

The following paraphrased quote came out of a forum:

"She wasn't denied for disability. She actually tried to start the disability application process several years ago based on depression. Because she was depressed, she couldn't complete the process".

If you've never worked in any aspect of the social security disability SSI system (and that could be as a field office claims rep, as a disability examiner, as a paralegal, or as a disability attorney or non attorney rep), you may not realize it, but many many people do, in fact, give up on their claims. The person cited in this example apparently gave up during the disability application phase. However, a great many people give on their SSD cases and SSI cases after they've been denied.

As an examiner, it was not out of the norm for me to receive cases with "uniques" of 17 or 18. What is a unique? A unique is simply a number on a form (a transmittal form) that indicates on how many separate applications a claimant has filed for disability. Why would you see total unique numbers this high? Generally, when an individual chooses to file brand new applications each time they get denied, instead of filing a disability appeal.

I've said this many times on Disability Secrets.com -- if you keep filing new applications for disability, you will probably just keep getting denied. If you file appeals, on the other hand, you will probably get denied on your first appeal, the request for reconsideration; however, this will allow you to proceed to the next step in the disability appeal process, which is to request a disability hearing. And claimants who go to hearings stand roughly a one in two chance of being approved, with the advantage going to claimants who have representation.

In essence, you should never give up on a disability claim. You should simply file a claim knowing that, statistically, you have a good chance of being denied, but also knowing that if you continue to pursue your claim through the appeal process, the eventual odds of winning disability benefits may actually be in your favor.

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