Social Security Disability (SSD) is a government program that pays benefits to you and certain members
of your family if you become disabled and can’t work. Monthly payments
from SSD provide relief for the expenses of ongoing medical treatment
and everyday living, making it a coveted program.
Applying to the program is a pretty straightforward process, but unfortunately,
getting denied is very common. The Social Security Administration (SSA) denies 60% of initial SSD claims
and 85% of appeals. Many times, people give up on the process or don’t
act quickly enough after receiving a denial notice.
It’s for this reason you need a lawyer on your side to help you appeal
your claim, collect the evidence needed, and prepare you for your testimony—for
the best chance at success.
Why a Claim Is Typically Denied
If your SSD claim is denied, you’ll receive a notice from the SSA
that will contain a summary of your medical condition, impediments and
other records that affected the final decision. In addition, the letter
will contain an explanation of why your claim was denied.
Some of the most common reasons an SSD claim is denied:
- You do not have enough “work credits”
- Your earnings average more than $1,170 a month
- Your medical condition doesn’t interfere with basic work-related
- Your medical condition isn’t “severe” enough, according
to the SSA
- Your medical condition allows you to do your previous work or adjust to
new types of work
How an Attorney Can Help Appeal
While it’s possible to successfully appeal a denial without help
from a lawyer, your chances of success are much higher with an attorney
at your side.
A personal injury lawyer can do the following to help you successfully
appeal your case:
Request a second review of your claim – A lawyer familiar with the process can get the appeal going rather quickly
and efficiently. You only have 60 days to file before you lose your right
Collect and analyze the required medical records as evidence to prove your
disability – An attorney can track down important medical records and test results.
They can also put pressure on a doctor who lags in assisting with the
gathering of documents.
Prepare you for your testimony in front of the administrative law judge
(ALJ) – Court hearings can be nerve-racking, and practicing your testimony with
a lawyer can help build your confidence.
Cross-examine the vocational expert at your hearing – The expert witness is an authority on vocational rehabilitation, vocational
and earning capacity, lost earnings, and cost of replacement labor. A
lawyer can ensure that the judge hears about your disability and the impact
it has had on your ability to work, straight from the expert’s mouth.
If you have been denied Social Security disability benefits during the
initial stage of this process, it’s vital that you enlist the help of our
Las Vegas SSD attorneys at Shook & Stone. We can help by collecting medical documents, preparing
you for your ALJ hearing and processing your claim in a timely manner.
Our legal team, with over 85 years of combined experience, has the resources
to improve your chances of a successful claim.
Call our office at (888) 662-2013 for a free consultation.