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How the SSA decides who gets SSD benefits and who does not

We frequently write about the process of applying for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. This process can be complex, long and detail-oriented, so it is generally best to seek the counsel of an attorney experienced in the ins and outs of this process before applying. But why exactly is the process so complex and why is the counsel of an attorney so necessary?

These are excellent questions. We have previously explored some of the issues tied to these questions in the article Social Security Disability: How the SSA makes its decision. However, some of these issues are worthy of additional explanation and exploration.

The Social Security Administration receives a staggering number of applications for SSD benefits on an annual basis. The agency is tasked with ensuring that applicants properly qualify for these benefits in terms of medical necessity and in terms of income level. As a result, the SSA requires applicants to produce a very detail-oriented application, complete with income verification documentation and proof of medical disability. Failure to answer even a single question or to support a single claim with evidence can lead to the denial of an applicant’s claim. An experienced attorney can help to ensure that applications are filled out and supported completely.

As we have outlined in the article referenced above, the SSA undergoes a five step process when determining whether or not an applicant meets both medical and income criteria. In short, the SSA wants to know if you are working, if you make too much money to qualify for benefits, if your medical condition is severe enough to meet the agency’s disability criteria, if you can continue to perform your current work and if you can adjust to other employable work.

These steps are seemingly straightforward but can be surprisingly complex. If you have questions about any of these steps or any other aspect of the SSD application process, please consult a local attorney experienced in handling SSD claims.

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We serve clients throughout the United States. We charge no fees in disability cases unless we recover benefits for you. To schedule your free consultation with a Social Security Disability lawyer, call 800-945-4950 or contact us by email.

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