Getting Your SSDI Approved

Qualifying for Social Security Disability or SSI benefits is a long and difficult road. To be eligible for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration states that the applicant must be “unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.” Furthermore, the impairment or combination of impairments must be of such severity that the applicant is not only unable to do his or her previous work but cannot, considering his or her age, education, and work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful work which exists in the national economy (Social Security Act, section 223(d)).

How Long You Should Expect to Wait Until You Get Your Answer

We understand that you are eager to learn about your SSDI coverage. These are the expected time frames:

  • Initial application decisions take approximately 120 days to 150 days to receive an answer. 
  • Reconsideration requests take approximately 60 days for an answer. 
  • Hearings in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) vary from state to state but average 14-20 months across the United States.

Approval Rates:

After waiting to hear about your SSDI coverage, you may, unfortunately, get denied. The SSA with the help of the Disability Determination Service (DDS) in your state manages to deny close to 70% of all initial applications. If you live in a state that requires you to file for Reconsideration, the SSA denies close to 90% of Reconsideration requests. On the other hand, over 50% of claims that go to a hearing are approved by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). 

The SSA would like you to believe that the system is non-adversarial and neutral, but the numbers suggest that they do not want to accept your claim without a fight. The rules governing Social Security disability cases are the same in every state because SSDI and SSI are federal programs, but the disability determinations are made by people – either claims examiners at DDS or ALJs at hearing offices. Decision-making is sadly a subjective process. With 50 different states and over 1,500 ALJs nationwide, you will always have a wide disparity with approval rates.

Things You Can do to Improve Your Chances of Approval

While the approval rates may appear daunting, there are several things you can do to improve your chances of obtaining SSD/SSI benefits from the Social Security Administration. Here are some examples:

  1. Obtain all available medical records pertaining to your alleged impairment(s). If the SSA does not have your treatment records they will not be able to assess the severity of your condition(s).
  2. Fully cooperate with your disability examiner and consultative examiner. The SSA will require you to complete forms, attend examinations, and answer questions over the phone from time to time. Completing these tasks immediately will shorten the wait time for a decision and build a positive relationship with the SSA.
  3. Stay informed and do not miss deadlines. The Social Security Administration will send several forms and have several deadlines that you have to meet. If you do not stay on top of these deadlines it could mean the difference between winning and losing benefits. If you miss certain deadlines it will result in an automatic denial or dismissal.
  4. Improve your chances of winning by more than 50% by hiring a DAWA DISABILITY ADVOCATE to do all of the above tasks for you! 1-888-200-6929.

With a strong track record in Social Security Disability Advocacy, DAWA Disability has a profound understanding of disability benefits eligibility and how that applies to you. Our main goal is to help our clients obtain the benefits they deserve. Our advocates recognize what is needed for a successful application and can answer any questions you have along the way.

Let DAWA Disability Advocates greatly improve your chances of winning your claim. Hiring a DAWA Disability Advocate could increase your chances of winning by 50% or more. Call our Advocates today to see if we can help you at 1-888-200-6929.

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