Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits can be a long and frustrating experience. Eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance, also know as SSDI, is based on the tax record of the applicant, and specifically on the previous five years before filing. The Social Security Administration evaluates applicants based on recent tax payment records immediately prior to filing to determine for which program they may be approved. While SSA does pay some applicants on the initial application, the truth is that most are denied the first time and must be approved through the appeals process.
It is vital for Social Security Disability applicants to not accept the initial denial from the SSA. The process starts all over for those who do not appeal within the legal appeal time period. It is actually best to have all medical records assembled when first filing the application so the disability determinations board can have good information regarding the overall health of the applicant. Many claims are assessed based on multiple conditions, and a comprehensive medical file can shorten the approval time.
It is also important for all disability applicants to understand how their employment record impacts the decision on their disability claim. The type of employment an applicant engaged in during their working career matters significantly, as the application for benefits is actually a claim that they cannot maintain substantive gainful employment due to a medical condition. Claims are then approved based on the totality of the medical record. Some medical issues are approved automatically, but they are often severe and already approved for others who qualified previously.
Most applicants are approved through the hearing process with an administrative law judge, which typically includes their Social Security Disability attorney as well. Social Security Disability attorneys understand what the SSA wants when approving a claim, and they might be able to craft a solid case for approval for presentation to the SSA ALJ in the applicant hearing.