The number one most important reason why people win or lose their social security disability claim is their medical records. People who can’t work because of a physical or mental condition are supposed to qualify for disability benefits. If your medical records don’t make it to the social security administration before a decision is issued, then there won’t be any evidence to prove your disability.
The Social Security Administration is supposed to gather up all of your medical records from your doctors, but they don’t always get that done. It’s pretty common for something to be missing. So, it’s pretty important for you to keep a good list of all of the doctors that you have seen, get the medical records yourself, and take a copy to the Social Security Administration office.
Social Security laws require your doctor to give you the first copy of your records for free if you are filing a disability claim. You don’t have to worry about being able to afford them.
Your medical records will be the most important evidence in your case. So, make it easy for the SSA to rule in your favor by giving them all of your records. We do this for our clients. We’ve seen too many cases where the SSA has failed to get everything and it really hurts the case. This is one of the most important things we do for our clients because it gives them the best chance to win.
You’d be surprised at how many people think you can only get social security disability benefits if you are over 65 years old. These people are confusing disability benefits with retirement benefits. Disability benefits are available for anybody who qualifies, and who is not old enough to retire. But age does affect how easy it may be for you to qualify for benefits.
Social Security laws place people into age categories. Everybody aged 18 to 44 are considered young individuals, those 45-49 are younger individuals, 50-54 are called closely approaching advanced age, those 55-59 are considered advanced age, and 60-65 are closely approaching retirement age.
The older you are, the easier it will be for you to qualify for disability benefits. Your education and work skills will be part of that equation, but your age is the starting point in figuring out what you will have to prove in order to win. For example, if you are 48 years old with little formal education, and you can only do a job where you can sit all day, you will probably be denied disability if you are able to read and write. But if you are 52 in the same circumstances, you would probably win. When the age category changes, the eligibility criteria change as well. At age 48, you have to prove that you can’t do any work at all, but at Age 52, you only have to prove that you are limited to work that can be done sitting down.
The reason why age matters so much is that we don’t expect older people who are close to retirement to go through job retraining and start a new career. The younger you are, the more we might expect you to adapt and change so that you can participate in the workforce.
One of the reasons to consider hiring a lawyer for a social security disability claim is to take advantage of their knowledge about how age, education and job skills can be manipulated to your advantage to give you the best chance to win your case.
You’ve probably heard people talk about how everybody gets denied the first time when they file for social security disability benefits. This is actually true. Social Security Administration statistics show that they deny about 65% of all applications for benefits.
People that try to handle their case without a lawyer will usually make the mistake of filing a second application, but that is usually the wrong thing to do. In most states, including Texas, you should file an appeal called a Request For Reconsideration. At that stage of the process, the SSA approves about 13% of these appeals. That’s still a bad number.
The good news is that the next step is more favorable. The appeal after reconsideration is to request a hearing with a judge. At that point, almost 62% of these cases are approved!
So, filing a second application gives you worse odds than filing an appeal and getting your case in front of a judge. If you have evidence of the severity of your medical condition and how it affects your ability to work, file an appeal to get the best chance at winning your case.