Many Americans depend on the Social Security Administration to provide their disability benefits, allowing them to pay for life’s necessities. People who have worked hard throughout their life, and are no longer able to earn a living due to an injury or disability are eligible to receive these benefits. Applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be hard. With new proposed legislation, the process may become even harder for some.
The Social Security Administration is extremely busy dealing with disability applications. In 2012, there were 820,000 requests for SSDI hearings and another 3.2 million applications for benefits. As part of the SSDI process, judges who oversee the cases are given permission to request the applicant’s medical information, as this may help them to make a more informed decision. Due to this backlog of applicants, however, many SSA employees and judges are forced to make rulings based on the evidence submitted by the applicant and their legal representation. This information may not include all of the medical files, especially the ones that may be detrimental to the applicant’s case.
It may become the responsibility of the applicant to supply needed information to the SSA, rather than allowing legal representatives to filter through the documents. A new proposal made by the Social Security Administration would demand those applying for Social Security Disability benefits to include all medical information, regardless of whether it would help or hinder the claim.
The process of applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be challenging. Understanding all of the rules and regulations surrounding SSDI is crucial when filling out an application for benefits. The legal counsel of a reputable attorney may be extremely helpful in filling out an SSDI application correctly. This can directly result in having an application approved or denied.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Social Security Proposed to Tighten Rules on Disability Appeals,” Damian Paletta, Mar.6, 2014