Hurdles of Proving Social Security Disability Eligibility
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Overcoming Hurdles of Proving Social Security Disability Eligibility

Things aren’t looking too good for Social Security in the U.S. Experts predict that the money for the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program will be exhausted by late 2016. According to Joseph Lawler, economics writer for The Washington Examiner, other experts believe that money is running out simply because the SSA’s already-stringent eligibility requirements are actually much looser than in the past. Lawler’s article has more:

There were roughly 11 million disability recipients in 2013, drawing an average of more than $1,100 in monthly benefits, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The Social Security Administration expects that it will spend nearly $150 billion in fiscal 2015 on SSDI — a large sum even by federal spending standards.

The program’s rolls have grown faster than anticipated, expanding sixfold (sic), in the past three decades, leading to an imminent shortfall in the program’s finances.

Should the SSA make SSDI eligibility even more difficult in order to save money, the number of applications being denied is bound to skyrocket in the future. This gives people even more incentive to work with an experienced Social Security disability lawyer, like Jan Dils and her colleagues at Jan Dils Attorney at Law, to convince the SSA that they deserve to claim those disability benefits. On average, only 34 percent of SSDI applications are approved and about 75 percent of them get denied during the early stages of the application. In addition, applicants for SSDI benefits may have to wait a couple of years or so before they can even know if their request has been denied or approved.

a showdown is coming over social security
The long waiting times are partly due to how the SSA considers a “disability” in the first place. The Social Security Act identifies a disability if it renders a person incapable of working for at least a year and especially if that person is unable to find other work because of it. Death due to the disability is also considered. In addition, the Act doesn’t have any provisions for partial or temporary disabilities, which means that people incapacitated for six months or so are better off relying on worker’s compensation, veteran’s benefits, and the like.

In addition to the strict requirements for Social Security disability eligibility, disability claims can be rejected due to other reasons, like if the applicant only listed various impairments instead of a main problem or if it’s discovered that he or she was able to go to work for a short time even with the disability. This is where Social Security lawyers come in, because it’s their job to ensure that their clients meet the SSDI requirements by the letter. Failing that, they can help their clients file an appeal.

(Source: A showdown is coming over Social Security, but it’s not about retirement, The Washington Examiner, August 13, 2014)