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Serving Injured And Disabled Clients In Minnesota and Wisconsin

Daunting yet doable: the SSD process for many claimants

We noted in a recent blog post the periodic revisiting of a claim made by naysayers of the federal government’s disability program that the process is flawed if not irretrievably broken (please see our entry dated June 17, 2014).

As we remarked therein, it seems that the records of select administrative law judges overseeing Social Security Disability claims on appeal are subjected to closest scrutiny and withering criticism every couple years or so. The comparatively high claim approval rates of those so-called ALJs are sometimes held out as being emblematic of standard case outcomes in most instances.

That is actually untrue, and patently so. We have informed our readers in Wisconsin and elsewhere of relevant statistics showing that the overall approval rate for SSD claims is far from alarming. In fact, the Social Security Administration states that only about 34 percent of applicants prevailed on their claims last year.

The well-chronicled truth about the SSD application process, as described recently in a Huffington Post article on the subject, is that it “is generally arduous and slow,” with most claimants being denied on their first go-round. Perseverance is centrally required of any applicant who knows that he or she qualifies and truly holds out hope of collecting benefits.

The upside of a typical application -- meaning a denial in the first instance -- is that the approval rate is demonstrably higher for applicants who seek review of their claims.

One factor that can influence that bettered outcome is early and comprehensive input from a proven SSD attorney. Being thorough and accurate from the inception of the application process with medical forms and work history documentation, and carefully following all the application rules and deadlines, can save time, deflect questions and positively influence a decision maker.

Source: Huffington Post, “Who qualifies for Social Security Disability Benefits?” Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, June 24, 2014

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