Navigating through the Disability Benefits Maze

by ShelbyW on May 21, 2013

There are those out there who will claim that people receiving any type of government help are moochers, but as anyone who has submitted a long term disability claim and received benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) could attest to, being unable to work is no picnic. Sadly, once a person has ceded to the fact that they need disability benefits, they have a long and winding road ahead of them to receive this help. This makes it important for them to know the process and how to make it a bit easier on themselves.

Meeting Eligibility for Benefits

The first thing that a person should do to make the road to disability benefits easier on themselves is to ensure that they meet the eligibility requirements and speak to a social security attorney who can offer Disability Benefits Assistance. A person, for instance, must not have substantial gainful employment. This is considered work that brings in over $1,040 a month for the 2013 calendar year. Additionally, individuals must have a documented disability that is foreseen as lasting more than one year. There are several other requirements as well, and all of them can be found on the Adult Disability Checklist on the SSA’s website.

Getting Proper Documentation

While it’s possible to win cases without strong supporting evidence from medical professionals, it’s extremely unlikely. To make the application process go smoother, a person should get documentation from their doctor that speaks towards their specific disability. It’s not enough for a doctor to simply send a letter stating that they think a person is disabled; this is a decision the SSA will make. Specific causes and conditions should be mentioned in a letter from a physician.

Applying for Benefits

Applying for benefits may be one of the simplest parts of the whole disability claim process, but that doesn’t mean that acceptance will come easily. The application for benefits can be done at a local SSA office, but this requires making an appointment. Sadly, these appointments can take months to occur. The easiest way for a person to file is to visit the SSA’s main website and complete the Disability Benefit Application, the Adult or Child Disability Report and the Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration. This begins the application process immediately. For assistance and to make the process easier you can contact a social security attorney.

Handling a Denied Claim

It’s a sad fact that the majority of initial disability claims are denied. This is often due to fraud prevention mechanisms that were put into the rules when the whole system was created. Sadly, this can lead to unfair denials of benefits. However, as stated on, “If your claim for disability benefits was wrongly denied, that same claim – with proper legal representation – can be appealed and won.” A person, once denied, can immediately ask for a reconsideration from the SSA. Unfortunately, if they haven’t garnered any additional evidence to bolster their claim, they’ll likely face the same result.

The smartest thing to do after a denial is to hire a disability denial attorney. After two denials, a person’s only option is to file for an administrative court hearing. This means that benefits denials can turn into long and drawn-out legal issues. As with any legal issue, it’s pertinent to have a lawyer on one’s side. This becomes exceptionally true when it’s the government that a person is going against.

Applying for SSA benefits is often a disheartening and tedious process, but unfortunately, it’s one that many of us are forced to make. The only thing that a person can do is grit their teeth, wait for word from the SSA and try to make the whole process as smooth on themselves as they possibly can. Very rarely, the process may go easy from the start; other times, legal help may be essential. Regardless, the important thing is for a person to keep fighting for the benefits that they deserve.

Legal researcher Shelby Warden shares this information to help those who need to apply for disability benefits. The law firm of Marc Whitehead & Associates provides more detailed information on disability claim denials at The firm’s skilled attorneys help clients across the nation obtain the benefits they are entitled to.

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