Tuesday, June 03, 2008

What's so hard about Filing for Disability

A statement was recently made on a health forum: I "really tried to be thorough on my disability application and it just seems unfair that they have to make the process so hard".

The poster didn't elaborate so it was difficult to know exactly what they meant by the process being so hard. However, it wouldn't be hard to make a guess, or through a handful of guesses arrive at their chief complaint.

So, what is so hard about filing for disability? Here's a short list I've compiled.

1. The process takes a long time. A long time at the disability application level, a long time at the request for reconsideration level, and a long time at the hearing level. None of which makes anything easier for an individual (or their family) who has physical or mental problems and cannot work at a level that earns the equivalent of substantial gainful activity.

2. The great majority of claims are denied at the application level. Yes, this happens despite the fact that more than half of all claimants who appeal all the way to a disability hearing get approved. If SSA is going to approve 50 percent of the claimants they initially denied for benefits in the first place, then why make them go through the ordeal at all. Some would argue that this is a cost cutting mechanism. I cannot tell you how many individuals I have personally encountered over the years who informed me that that they had previously filed for disability, got denied, and then chose to give up on their claim (big mistake--you should always always appeal). Luckily, these individuals decided to file again at some point. But...what about all the people who give up and never try again.

The federal government saves a lot of money on these individuals.

3. You can never seem to get answers to basic questions about how the social security disability system works. This is actually why I started my website, www.disabilitysecrets.com, because I realized that claimants often had very basic questions that they weren't getting answers to. Why is it so hard to get answers? Here's my theory. Claimants often pose their questions to the individuals who take their disability claims. These indivduals are CRs, or claims reps. They work at social security field offices and they process disability claims. However, and this is an important distinction, they don't actually make the medical decision on an SSD or SSI case. In fact, they typically know almost NOTHING about how the disability process works.

Why? Because it's not their job to know. The job of rendering a decision on a disability case is the job of a disability examiner (which I used to be). However, disability examiners are not front-line contact personnel. In fact, if you file a claim you may never speak to your examiner (though very often you will since they usually need to get information about your medical sources, work history, or activities of daily living).

Why is filing for disability so hard? These are just a few reasons. There are a lot more, and perhaps those will be the subject of a later post.

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog

Additional Pages from this blog

What Do You Need to Bring When You are Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits?
Making Money the old fashioned way
The Next Steps to follow after Your Social Security Disability Claim Is Denied
New Down Syndrome Test For Unborn Babies
Steps to Request a Hearing for a Social Security Disability Claim
Children on Medication: Obesity-Related Diseases Skyrocketing
Social Security Disability - What is it and Can you qualify for it?
Can you Trust the Doctor who does the Social Security Disability Medical Exam?
Sleep Apnea and Cardiovascular Disease
Lupus and Social Security Disability Benefits (SSD AND SSI)
Can a Disability Lawyer Guarantee Winning your Case?
Lumbar fusion Study for Seniors
A Simple Mistake to Avoid if you have Type 2 Diabetes
My Lawyer Didn't Say Anything at My Disability Hearing
Social Security Disability and Part Time Work
How do I win my Social Security Disability Hearing? Is it Easier than the first steps?
A Letter from Your Doctor for Social Security Disability or SSI
Lupus, Breast Cancer and Constipation?
Help Your Doctor Help You to Win Social Security Disability or SSI
What Do They Do at a Disability Hearing?
Treated Rudely at a Social Security Disability Psychological Exam
Social Security Disability and Other Work
Should you use a Social Security Disability Lawyer Provided by an LTD company?
Should You Appeal Your Social Security Disability Denial?
SSD Benefit Requirements and Work Credits
How many are Approved at a Social Security Disability Hearing?
Social Security Disability - three quarters of a million waiting
Social Security Disability SSI and Proving you are Disabled
Mental Disorders and SSD (Social Security Disability) and SSI
How long after you are approved for social security disability do you have to sign up for medicare?
Why is it Difficult to get a Doctor's help on a Social Security Disability Case?
SSD Application Filing Tips
Social Security Disability and Seizures, Epilepsy
Social Security Disability Video Hearings, a good idea?
List Your Mental Conditions on a Social Security Disability Application
Understanding the Social Security Definition of Disability
How to Speed up a Social Security Disability Claim
Social Security Disability Evaluation or Exam
Calling about your Social Security Disability Claim (can prevent problems)
Will Social security Disability do medical check ups on me after I am approved?
Social Security Disability for Mental and Physical Problems
Increase in Social Security Disability and Retirement Benefits
Denied for Disability with Pancreatitis
Social Security Disability Decisions sometimes make little sense
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Decision - is it the end?
What is the most effective way to apply for Social Security Disability and get approved?
How many hours can you work if you are receiving social security disability?
Social Security Disability Benefits and Drug and Alcohol Use
Where do you begin when applying for Social Security or Disability benefits?
RFC Form for Social Security Disability or SSI Case
Using an RFC Form to Win a Disability Case
What Are the Chances for an MS Patient to Get Social Security Disability?
How do you Pick a Social Security Disability Representative?
Which Disability Cases are Harder to Win?


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