The Challenges Of Obtaining Social Security Disability Benefits
Mental illness does not discriminate and affects individuals of all ages, income brackets and education levels. National statistics indicate that as many as one quarter of U.S. adults suffer with a mental illness. Despite the prevalence of mental health conditions like depression, anxiety and attention deficit disorder; those who suffer with these invisible disabilities often do so in silence.
For years, a general lack of understanding and awareness created a strong social stigma around mental illness. While that sentiment is changing, many with mental health conditions still resist seeking a diagnosis or help. In cases where a mental health condition interferes with an individual’s ability to work, an already difficult situation can become even more desperate.
Social Security Disability Benefits
Social Security disability benefits can provide financial assistance to individuals who have been diagnosed with certain qualifying disabilities. If you or a loved one plans to apply for SSDI benefits, the following information must be detailed in the application:
- Names and contact information of all doctors, therapists and caseworkers
- Names, addresses and dates of care at identified hospitals and clinics
- Names and dosage information of current and past medications
- Medical records from doctors, therapists and caseworkers
- Hospital laboratory test results
- Work history and W2 forms
Additionally you will need to provide details about your disabling condition and chronicle how it interferes with your ability to work and your medical and mental health providers must also fill out and submit detailed paperwork.
If you think that the SSDI application process sounds complex and confusing, you are not alone. In fact, many first-time claimants encounter difficulties when attempting to complete and file applications and statistics indicated that more than 50 percent of first-time SSDI claims are denied.
How An Attorney Can Assist In Securing Social Security Disability Benefits
An SSDI claim may be denied for a number of reasons. Lack of sufficient evidence of a disability, paperwork errors and procedural issues are among the most common reasons why claims are denied. An attorney who is familiar with the application and appeals process can assist in the following ways:
- Gather and submit all necessary documentation and paperwork
- Review and compile necessary medical records
- Obtain medical assessments and diagnosis documentation of condition(s) from physicians
- Prepare you for a claims appeal administrative hearing
- Cross-examine and question the findings of experts hired by the Social Security Administration
While there are no guarantees that the appeal of a SSDI claim denial will be successful, statistics show that claimants are “twice as likely to be approved at disability benefits hearing if they have an attorney.”
If you or a loved one are planning to apply for SSDI benefits or recently learned that your SSDI claim was denied, you can benefit from the advice and assistance of an attorney.