Social Security Disability Insurance decisions are made according to a complex set of rules and regulations with guidelines established by numerous previous written opinions. Indiana workers need to understand they are not entitled to SSDI benefits simply because they can no longer work due to a chronic physical or mental condition even if their doctor so states. Disability is a finding to be reached by disability examiners only through the sequential process each SSDI application must undergo. Although there are multiple levels of appeal for those denied, you can increase your approval odds by understanding what the examiners are looking for.
Once a claimant has demonstrated threshold eligibility requirements and submitted a complete application, SSDI examiners focus on two primary areas: the nature of the alleged impairment(s) and the claimant’s work history. Claimants with impairments that specifically match with Social Security’s Listing of Impairments manual often have a relatively straightforward path to approval. Otherwise, the claimant must prove the impairment is severe, permanent and prevents them from engaging in substantial gainful activity. Disability analysts caution that common, everyday words have very specific meanings for SSDI purposes.
Even if the claimant cannot perform past work activities, there may be other jobs he or she can do given the nature and limitations of the particular impairment. Also considered is the education and training of the claimant. The examiner may utilize the services of vocational and occupational manuals to determine what sort of work exists in the general labor market.
It’s permissible, at any stage of the proceeding, for a claimant to be represented by a Social Security disability lawyer. Statistically, claimants who retain legal representation are more likely to gain approval of benefits, especially if they’ve been denied at an earlier stage and are in the appeal process.