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Making Sense of a Social Security Disability Case


Waiting on a Social Security disability determination ruling from the Social Security Administration can be a very frustrating experience that many Americans endure. Individuals who have a debilitating condition are often already incapable of working long before they file, and managing to get through the waiting period is difficult for practically everyone filing. Many people also file for Social Security benefits long before they qualify by age and often by necessity. And, many claimants need benefits as soon as possible because of personal finances. The combination of personal situations and the extreme due diligence regarding disability determination by the SSA means that making sense of a disability case can become as difficult as surviving through the bureaucratic process. That is why it is essential to have an experienced and aggressive Social Security disability attorney representing your case to the SSA.

Why was I denied?

Many disability claimants are obviously disabled when they apply, but the federal disability agency still takes as much time as possible before issuing a ruling. Sometimes this even occurs when the claimant has a condition that is already listed as an approved disability. These conditions should automatically qualify a claimant for disability benefits, but the agency still routinely sends claimants to the agency doctors in an attempt to verify the medical claims are valid. Of course, this takes additional time allowing the SSA to wait until the final days of the allowed response period to make a ruling. And, very often the ruling will still be another denial. When this occurs to a claimant who does not have a condition on the pre-approved list, your disability attorney can then take you total disabilities and begin a process that compares specific medical conditions to other conditions that are on the approved list of disabilities.

Multiple Medical Conditions

Many claimants do not necessarily file for disability benefits based on one medical condition. Often times filers will have several health issues that impact each further contributing to the general inability to earn a living. Always remember that a disability ruling is not as much of a ruling on your disability status as it is a claim that you cannot earn a living because of medical issues. While independent medical problems may not constitute disability alone, when all conditions are presented in a combined evaluation then the Social Security Administration can begin the process of evaluating overall health with respect to total disability. Social Security does not recognize partial disability as other benefit programs do, and all approval decisions are usually permanent unless the claimant is awarded Supplemental Security Income benefits.

Understanding the Difference between SSDI and SSI

Those filing for disability benefits often do not understand the differences between Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. While it is acceptable to file a Social Security Disability Insurance claim online, this is not necessarily the situation for Supplemental Security Income. It is usually necessary to actually visit the local Social Security office for your region if the potential exists that an SSDI claim will not be available. SSI claimants are awarded in a shorter time frame and are not required to wait six months before being approved, as SSDI claimants must do before being qualified. SSI recipients are approved for one year and many will be reviewed annually for reevaluation. There are also limitations on personal assets in order to qualify for SSI, as it is an actual welfare program that is not qualified with a tax receipt record as SSDI. Those who are qualified for permanent and total disability who have over 20 paid quarters in the past ten years will be approved for SSDI.