Crowe & Shanahan
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The complexity of the SSD application process

The Social Security Administration (SSA) makes an effort to make it easy to apply for disability benefits. There is an online benefits form that you can fill out to begin the application process. And there is a great deal of information on the SSA.gov website that can explain the process and terminology that SSA uses.

You can go through the Listing of Impairments and see if one of your medically disabling conditions is described there, and you can read about the other programs, like the compassionate allowances or ticket to work, to decide if you would qualify.

Using these tools, you can begin your journey towards receiving SSD benefits. That road, however, can be difficult for the average disabled worker. You are dealing with the various aspects of your disease or medical condition, such as, chronic back pain from a deteriorating disc or chemotherapy for cancer, which can leave you nauseous and exhausted much of the time.

You also are dealing with a foreign language, that of the internal procedures of SSA. This language is not intentionally designed to make it difficult for applicants to understand what is happening with their SSD benefits claim but becomes necessary because of the complexity of the process and how that process was created.

Every time a new medical condition is added or a new process implemented, rules have to be written to describe that condition or explain that procedure. The SSD program has been in place since the 1950s, so there are decades of additions and amendments that have piled up on each other, making the end result very complex.

And this is why many applicants turn to an attorney for assistance with this process. An attorney understands the terminology and procedures. They understand the arcane process and they understand what the jargon means, what SSA expects as of proof of your medical condition and how to build the most compelling case for your benefits claim.

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