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 activities
- 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 to appeal.
- 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.