If you are like most people applying for Social Security Disability benefits (and SSI), you are in for a surprise.
No matter how many years you have worked or how many doctor examinations and medical procedures you have undergone, Social Security will not automatically grant you benefits when you and your doctors expect you’ll be out of full-time work for a year or more. If you are over 50, you may even know that you won’t be able to return to your previous kind of full-time work. Expect two Social Security denials in a row — even if you should be approved. Why?
State agencies contracting with the Social Security Administration handle the medical decisions for the first two appeal levels. These state agencies set up internal procedures to limit approvals. A hearing with a Social Security administrative law judge (ALJ) is usually your best (and only) chance for a fair evaluation of your claim. Plan to appeal both your application and reconsideration denials so you can get to a hearing stage.
“Plan to dig in.” This is what we tell our Social Security disability clients at Hoglund Law Offices.
Now don’t get me wrong. Bad claims should be denied. Some good claims are approved right away. But when a majority of hearing-level claims are approved, something is wrong. In our legal experience, a significant number of good claims are handled very poorly at the state agency level. The crux is this: To these state agencies, success is not a low hearing overturn rate but a consistent denial rate. Failure is built-in. That is why you always plan to appeal.
This is not particularly encouraging information, but you (and your dcotors) need to know a fight for approval is possible. When you and you doctors know you aren’t getting better soon, apply and appeal and appeal! Get to a hearing!
If you want legal help to apply or appeal your Social Security claim, Hoglund Law Offices is here to help you. We do not charge you anything unless you win. Consider hiring our team of lawyers at Hoglund Law Offices. And watch out for non-attorney “advocate” corporations.
Hoglund Law Offices is a real law firm. We are real Hoglund Lawyers. We have the real legal experience you need.
Andrew Kinney, Esq.
Hoglund Law Offices
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