Social Security Disability Myths Debunked: More Applications Denied than Ever

Politicians like to play games with public funds. It’s the low-hanging fruit of the stump speech world. Read these comments made by three senior Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee: “Federal disability claims are often paid to individuals who are not entitled to receive them.” Never have I read a more out of touch statement in all my years as an attorney working for those living with disabilities. To allege that millions of Americans are simply choosing to collect a bare-bones check from the government rather than earn a gainful living paints a dystopian picture of a world worthy of a Margaret Atwood novel. American workers are living with painful injuries and illnesses in increasing numbers, and our disability lawyers know it isn’t because of laziness.

ssd141 - Social Security Disability Myths Debunked: More Applications Denied than Ever

The Aging Baby Boomer Population

Baby Boomers are getting older and preparing for retirement. As this population ages, more run into situations where they can develop illnesses or sustain significant injuries of a type that can prevent them from working in the long term. When the largest segment of the population starts to wear down physically, disability claims will inevitably rise. Mark Hinkle, a spokesman for the Social Security Administration, echoed this sentiment when issuing a public statement about Republican comments. “The primary reason for growth is demographics,” he said to CBS and other media outlets. He also commented that approval rates for disability benefits have decreased even as applications for benefits have increased. More people than ever are filing, but a lower percentage of applicants actually obtain approval of their applications.

Those who have attorneys working on their claims are at a distinct advantage when it comes to winning appeals of initial application denials. If the SSA is denying claims more than ever, the injured or ill need to use every resource available to them to ensure investigators understand the nature of their problems and how they affect their ability to work.

Falling Down on the Job

For those living with disabilities that doctors expect to improve over time, a review of their functional capacity is necessary every six to 18 months. Because of the high-number of applicants and disability recipients, investigators aren’t able to keep up with the backlog, and some could continue to receive checks even after they’ve improved to the point of being able to work full-time. Does this mean that the entire system is broken? Hardly. What this calls for is a more efficient approval and monitoring process with more boots on the ground. We need a higher number of investigators and clerical employees working with the SSA to review applications and ensure that those who desperately need the government’s help can get it in as short an amount of time as possible.  Blaming the injured for the government’s inability to streamline its own processes is ludicrous.

If you, or someone you love, is dealing with an injury or illness that doctors expect to limit your ability to work for at least one year, Social Security Disability benefits may be an invaluable resource to manage looming financial difficulties. Contact our law offices today for a free consultation about your situation. The process is risk-free — if we don’t win benefits, you won’t owe us for our services.

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