Disabilities affect a wide range of the U.S. population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, based on data from the most recent census in 2010, a total of 56.7 million people - 19 percent of the U.S. population - had a disability at the time of the census.
If you have a disability and have worked in jobs in which you paid into the Social Security system, you may be eligible to apply for a federal benefits program called Social Security Disability Insurance, also known as SSD or SSDI. Because information is so readily available online nowadays, you may be tempted to prepare your application on your own. However, this can be problematic for a variety of reasons. Before you decide to handle your SSD case on your own, understand whether that is in your best interest.
Initial applications are largely denied
Although it may seem like a straightforward process to apply for SSD benefits, the truth is that the Social Security Administration denies a great deal of initial applications. Statistically speaking, only 36 percent of initial applications are approved on average nationwide. If you apply for SSD benefits and your application is denied, you will have to appeal the decision. Rather than taking a chance on having a denied application and then having to go to an attorney to navigate the appeals process, it is wise to consult with an attorney to file your initial application.
Requirements are difficult to understand
There are many factors that go into preparing a disability claim to apply for SSDI benefits. The Social Security Administration has very specific criteria regarding how it defines a disability, as well as the specific number of years an applicant has to have worked to qualify for benefits. Disabilities that are eligible for SSD benefits include both physical and mental impairments, and the SSA requires documentation of the disability. An attorney can help you understand all the paperwork that is needed and ensure your initial application is properly completed.
Handling your SSD case on your own is like taking a chance on rolling the dice. Hiring an attorney who handles SSD cases is a better option to ensure your initial application has the best possible chances for approval.