According to data compiled by the Social Security Administration (SSA), as of 2015, the most common disability approved for Social Security Disability benefits varies by age group. For example, intellectual disabilities are most common for people under 30, while mood disorders predominate among people aged 30 to 39.
Overall, however, the most approved disability for Social Security is disabilities involving the musculoskeletal system and/or connective tissues. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), such conditions include arthritis, back pain, and lupus.
When it comes to Social Security Disability, the important part is not so much what type of disability you have. Rather, it is recognizing the challenges of applying for disability benefits and arming yourself with the tools and knowledge necessary to stand a chance of getting the benefits you need.
There Are Two Kinds of Social Security Disability
Social Security Disability actually refers to two distinct benefits programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI). Both offer money to people with disabilities, but qualifying for one does not necessarily mean you qualify for the other.
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Social Security Disability Insurance
Per the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), over 60 percent of people who apply for SSDI are rejected. Qualifications are very strict and require you to:
- Have a serious disability that is long-lasting, chronic, or terminal
- Have been employed for a certain period of time (how long depends on age)
- Be unable to earn more than a certain amount of money
Supplemental Security Income
SSI has slightly different requirements than SSDI. Per the SSA, they include:
- Having a disability that prevents you from earning a living
- Having few revenue streams (e.g., income, other benefits) at your disposal
- Meeting certain residential requirements
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What to Do After a Rejection
SSDI and SSI can help you cover all kinds of bills. However, the application process is lengthy and difficult. Even people with the most approved types of disabilities can struggle to get the benefits they qualify to receive.
If your claim is denied, you have four chances to get that decision overturned. These possible instances are listed below.
- Reconsideration: The SSA looks at your application again.
- Hearing: An administrative law judge reviews and redecides your case.
- Appeals Council: You can ask the Social Security’s Appeals Council to redecide your case. They may either accept or reject your request.
- Federal Court: You can file a lawsuit against the Social Security Administration and let a judge make the final determination in your case.
At each of these steps, you may be asked to fill out more forms or provide more evidence to prove the presence and severity of your disability. At some stages, you will be asked to appear in person or by videoconference; at others, you can stay home. It is important that you always follow all directions.
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Getting Legal Assistance
No matter what kind of disability you have or what kind of benefits you apply for, getting them is often very hard. CBPP reports that you may be barred from receiving SSDI benefits for either medical or technical reasons. You may want to hire or at least consult an attorney who knows the system and can guide you through it.
A lawyer can help you by:
- Explaining the process: Your lawyer can help you understand Social Security and/or the legal process and explain how best to approach your case.
- Assisting with paperwork: It is absolutely critical that you select the right forms, provide all the necessary information, and submit them on time to the right places. A lawyer can double-check your work to make sure it meets the SSA’s criteria.
- Filing for appeal: Most first-time SSDI applicants are rejected. Your lawyer can help you file for a reconsideration or an appeal. They can even help you file a lawsuit if it comes to that.
- Represent you at hearings: As your case goes through the various stages of appeal, your lawyer can argue before judges and councils on your behalf.
Whether you have the most approved disability for Social Security or another type of disability, a lawyer may be able to assist you with your claim. At Underwood Law Office, we know how difficult it is to get Social Security Disability. Call our Texas office today at (972) 535-6377 to schedule a free case evaluation.