Approximately 40 million people in the United States have a disability. That translates to about 12.6 percent of the population. For those who apply for Social Security disability benefits, only around 30 percent are approved at the initial application level. At the Administrative Law Judge Hearing, that percentage nearly doubles to 55 percent. Your odds of winning benefits are greatly improved by having a Social Security disability lawyer represent you: About 70 percent of people who hire a SSDI attorney to represent them are awarded benefits, while only around 41 percent of those without a lawyer are approved.
Whether you are considering applying for SSD benefits or you’ve been denied and are thinking about filing an appeal, the Social Security disability lawyers at DePaolo & Zadeikis are familiar with the Social Security Agency regulations that must be met, filing procedures that must be followed, medical evidence needed and tips that optimize your chances of receiving SSD benefits. Give us a call today at 312-263-7560 for a free, no obligation consultation.
About two-thirds of SSD claims are denied at the initial application level, and an even higher rate of claims is denied at reconsideration, or the first appeal. Social Security disability claims are denied at all levels of the claims process for a variety of reasons. Understanding why claims are often denied can help you improve your chances of winning benefits.
A large percentage of disability claims are denied because of paperwork errors. The application and documentation necessary to file a disability claim can be overwhelming if you are trying to complete your application yourself. While it is important that each question is answered truthfully and completely, using the correct wording for each answer can have a big impact on your claim. In addition, the SSA requires you to back up your claim with documentation and hard evidence, and failing to submit the required information will almost certainly result in a denial.
Throughout the claims process, there are a number of deadlines that often must be met to proceed with a claim. Many applicants receive denials because they are unable to complete the required actions or access the requested information on time.
Many disability applications are denied because drug, alcohol, or criminal convictions are involved. Although it is possible to obtain SSD benefits despite previous drug or alcohol abuse, if it is determined that the substances continue to play a role in your disability, you will likely be denied. Similarly, claims that are linked to criminal convictions will often be denied.
SSDI benefits are available to people who are no longer able to perform substantial gainful activity (work) because of a disabling condition. If you work too many hours or make too much money while waiting on your claim to process, you will no longer qualify for SSDI.
Sufficient medical evidence is necessary to support a claim for SSD. If you haven’t followed through with you treatment plan or do not have sufficient medical records to back up your claim, you may be denied benefits.
When your claim has been denied at the reconsideration level, you may request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The majority of disability claims that are successful are approved at the hearing level. Because hearings are more in-depth, many people hire social security disability lawyers to help guide them through the rest of the process. A disability attorney can help with accessing and gathering medical records and other documentation, preparing you for questioning, cross-examining the vocational expert, and more.
In addition, social Security disability lawyers can address any weaknesses in your case and build on the strengths that can help you win benefits. If you are eligible for an on-the-record decision, a disability attorney may even be able to help you skip the hearing altogether and go straight to the decision.
If you’re ready to appeal your claims denial, you don’t have to face the judge alone. Call the Chicago Social Security Disability Lawyers at DePaolo & Zadeikis today at 312-263-7560 for a free consultation.
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update
As efforts concerning the containment of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continue to evolve here in the U.S. and around the world, we want to assure you that Depaolo & Zadeikis remain committed to three important priorities:
As such, we continue to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation and decided to follow the guidelines and recommendations of the CDC and other state and local officials. In accordance with these recommendations and until further notice, DePaolo & Zadeikis Attorneys at Law will be making modifications to the delivery of our services until further notice. To be sure, our services will continue to be available to you – just differently as the pandemic response evolves.
Our offices remain open for business; however, we encourage all existing clients to help us limit exposure and the potential spread of COVID-19 by avoiding in-office meetings. We remain open for business virtually during normally scheduled work hours 9:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday). All email, fax, telephone, and other electronic communication will continue without interruption. If you have a scanner please scan documents and send them to us in.PDF format. If you do not have a scanner, there are smartphone apps available such as CamScanner, Adobe Scan and Genius Scan (and many others), that will turn your smartphone into a document scanner at zero or little cost.
Our local courts continue to update and modify their policies in response to the current COVID-19 situation as well, and we are monitoring those to navigate the impact on your claims. At this point, the Courts and the Illinois Workers Compensation System are operating on a partial basis. We are continuing to advance our cases on an electronic basis as well as telephonically. As the situation evolves, we will advise our clients.
We also know that many of you have been personally impacted in a number of ways, and we apologize for any inconvenience these modifications may cause you but of course we are all experiencing this disruption together and will get through it together. We will resume normal operations as soon as the local, state and national governments give instructions that it is reasonable to do so. We appreciate your flexibility as we do our part to help bring this unprecedented situation under control.
Again, we are fully operational and are actively working on your claims. If there is anything you need, please feel free to contact our office (telephonically or electronically) during office hours so that we can direct your call and follow up accordingly.