You applied for Social Security disability benefits and received a denial. Though a denial may feel like added insult to injury, Debt.org urges you to not take it personally. According to the site, the Social Security Administration denies approximately 67% of all Social Security disability benefits claims it receives each year. Because the SSA denies a vast majority of claims, Debt.org speculates that it uses the first round as a way to weed out the fraudulent and unserious filers. You can show the SSA that you are neither type of claimant by filing an appeal. Should you lawyer up to do so? 

Having a lawyer can help  

Fortunately, the highly structured appeals process often yields success for applicants. In fact, roughly 65% of appellants garner a favorable outcome. That said, the majority of successful applicants had an attorney by their sides to skillfully present and argue their claims. 

An experienced attorney is familiar with the claims process and knows precisely what the SSA looks for when making determinations. An attorney can help you organize your claim from the start and advise you on what medical information you need to present. Hint: You should present all of it, from the diagnosis through the course of treatment to the prognosis. A lawyer can also review your prescription medication regime and ensure it is thorough and up to date. 

In addition to helping you put together your medical history, an attorney will review your work history, skill set, training and education for the purpose of determining your ability to engage in “substantial gainful activity.” The SSA will want to know if you are able to perform work that could earn you at least $1,220 a month. This is where an SSD attorney’s experience proves to be particularly useful. An attorney is familiar with the criteria the SSA uses to classify injuries as “seriously disabling” and can ensure the evidence of your case presents your injury as such. 

Expediting the process 

The typical appeals process takes, on average, 18 months to complete. However, most SSD attorneys know a few tricks to expedite the process and help claimants receive benefits sooner rather than later. Those include presenting an argument for compassionate allowance, which allow individuals with certain conditions to receive benefits in a matter of weeks as opposed to months; requesting an expedited hearing based on dire need; presenting your case, along with new and compelling medical evidence, before an Attorney Advisor; requesting an on-the-record review of your case; and requesting a congressional inquiry.