Applying for SSD

Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are provided by the Social Security Administration to adults with the requisite work credits if and when the applicant loses the ability to be gainfully employed for various reasons. As pointed out on the website of the Hankey Law Office, PC, applying for SSD benefits is generally difficult, although the approval rate varies from state to state. However, more than half of all nationwide SSD claims for SSD benefits are denied at the initial application. This means applicants must either appeal or start the process over, both of which take time.

All applications for SSD benefits have the same requirements, but some get approved more easily than others. This and the relatively low rate of claim approval are due mostly to the way the disability decision process is conducted. When someone makes an SSD benefit claim, for example, the claim is actually transferred to the state disability determination services agency (DDS) and brought to the attention of a disability examiner.

The disability examiner checks the submitted medical records to see if it satisfies the approval criteria for a medical condition included in the SSA list (blue book) of disabling impairments, physical or mental. If it does, then the claim is approved. In most cases, however, the medical records will not be specific enough to meet the blue book criteria for a listed condition. At this point, the examiner will consider other documentation such as the work history to find supporting or corroborating evidence that the claimant is indeed disabled for the requisite length of time. Failing that, the examiner will deny the claim, and the claimant can then go through the appeals process.

Ideally, a claim for SSD benefits should be approved at the time of the initial application; the appeals process takes a lot longer and can be difficult to follow for a layperson. If you plan to make an SSD benefits claim, you should seek the help of an SSD lawyer in your area from the start; if not, during your appeal.