Social Security Disability Benefits
You may have recently read various articles
about the growing backlog of people applying for Social Security Disability
Benefits. Currently, there are over 728,000 Americans waiting for appeal
hearings. These are people who have applied, have been initially denied
benefits, and have chosen to ask for an appeals hearing before an Administrative
Disability claims have clearly grown during
the period of economic downturn. Many people who previously had significant
disabilities were able to hold on to their old jobs when economic times were
good. During the downturn, people who have been on the fringe of employability
often lose their jobs and find that due to disabilities, there is no other work
The Social Security Administration has made
significant advances in the last few years in processing disability claims in an
attempt to streamline the appeal process. It is now possible for us to file our
initial claims and appeals on-line. Attorneys representing you can review your
Social Security record on their office computer. Pressure has been placed on
Administrative Law Judges to hear more cases and to resolve some in advance of
Most people who ask about and eventually apply
for Social Security Disability have significant physical and/or psychological
problems. Many are still denied benefits due to lack of preparation. Only
thirty-six percent of claimants filing for disability receive it at the time
they initially file. The key to increasing your odds for success is clearly
organization and preparation. The following are brief comments to increase your
chances for success in a disability claim:
- Be prepared to review all of your
physical and psychological issues, not just your primary problems. Think about
your body from head to toe. What problems do you have? Even include medical
issues that have been a part of your life from childhood. Do any of the
problems limit your ability to work from day to day?
- Visit your doctors on a regular basis and
complete tests that are recommended. People with significant disabilities will
not win their disability claim without supportive medical
- Consider using an attorney to help organize
your case and file your claim or appeal. If you have filed and been denied, meet
with your attorney as early as possible after being denied. Whether an initial
filing or an appeal, visit our website at http://www.owmlaw.com/practice/social_security_disability.php.
Use the social security disability organizer to help you prepare your case, http://www.owmlaw.com/PDF/SSDI_SSIWorksheet.pdf.
Please tune in to the August episode of Legal Talk featuring David Kaplan's discussion with the District Manager of our area
Social Security Office, Joanne Wolpert, on current issues involving Social
Read Legal Ease every other Sunday in the Pottstown Mercury.
Watch Legal Talk, brought to you by OWM, on PCTV, Tuesdays at 8:30 on Channel 28, and Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. on Channel 98, or on our website at www.owmlaw.com/legal_talk/legal_talk.php.
David A. Megay, Esq. and James C. Kovaleski, Esq., speaking at SCORE business planning seminars on 9/12/11 and 11/7/11 (contact SCORE at 610-327-2673).