It can feel like a slap in the face when your application for Social Security benefits is denied. You have worked hard and paid into the system your entire life, and now that you are unable to work and need the benefits you have been promised, you have been turned down. How can that be?
At Marcus Vaden Law, we help people who have been denied the disability benefits they need and deserve. You may be hesitant to talk to a lawyer about this, but are you prepared to handle an appeal and hearing on your own? Save yourself the frustration by letting us take care of the next steps when your initial application for benefits has been rejected.
Reasons Initial Applications Are Denied
If your initial application was denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA), you are not alone. As many as 70% of first-time applications are denied, and over 85% of appeals are rejected at the first level. The odds are clearly stacked against you throughout this process.
Most initial applications are denied for the following reasons:
- You don’t meet the basic non-medical requirements. To be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you must have paid into the system over years of work and earned a certain number of work credits. If you are still working despite your disability and earning more than the substantial gainful activity limit, you will also be considered ineligible.
- Your medical condition is not severe enough or will not last long enough. The SSA has a list of approved medical conditions and the severity required to qualify for disability benefits. If your condition is not on the list, you must be able to show that it is as severe and one of the listed conditions. If you are expected to recover from the condition in less than a year, you will be denied.
- You lack medical evidence. Your application must be accompanied by medical records—including doctor’s notes, test results, and current treatment plans—that prove that you have the condition, that it is severe enough to limit your ability to work, and that you have tried to get better.
- Incomplete or erroneous applications. Believe it or not, many people fail to present a complete, error-free application. Simple mistakes can be enough reason for the SSA to reject your claim.
If your initial application was denied, you might still be able to apply for reconsideration, but we don’t suggest doing that without first speaking to a Social Security disability attorney.
How the Marcus Vaden Law Firm Can Help
We understand that you are struggling. You are used to working hard to provide for your family, and the fact that you can no longer do that is devastating. We want your appeal to be successful.
When you call us, we will take the following steps to help you:
- Evaluate your claim. We will ask you for information about your work history, illness or injury, medical history, how much you have paid into Social Security, etc., to determine whether you are eligible to file an appeal. We will not waste your time or give you false hope. If we can help you, we will.
- Gather information. If we determine that you are eligible, we will accumulate all the necessary information from your doctors, employers, and other experts and send it to the SSA.
- Request a hearing. The wait for a hearing may be as long as a year, but once your hearing date arrives, we will represent you before the administrative law judge and present the strongest case possible to get your initial rejection overturned.
What is SSD back pay, and how do I get it?
The Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits program provides many people with the financial support they need while they’re unable to work. However, getting an approved claim can be a lengthy process.
It can take months and sometimes years to receive benefits. Because the time between filing an application and receiving an approval can be so long, an approved claimant will typically be entitled to back pay.
Understanding SSD Back Pay
Back pay is also referred to as past-due disability benefits. This pay gives an approved claimant benefits that date back to the first time he filed an application. Because there’s such a long delay between the application date and an approval date, the Social Security Administration (SSA) pays you for the time in between.
Back pay depends on a number of factors, including:
- The date of your application. A claimant is eligible for SSD benefits back to the first day of the first month after he applied for benefits. In some cases, a claimant may qualify for benefits back to the year prior to the date of filing.
- The date of your disability. Often considered the most important factor in receiving back pay is the start of the claimant’s disability or the onset date. When filing an application, the claimant cites the date he believes his disability started. This is referred to as the alleged onset date (AOD). Once a claimant has been approved for disability benefits, an SSA claims examiner or an administrative law judge sets an established onset date (EOD) using the claimant’s work history and medical records. Thus, a claimant’s back pay is decided through the medical evidence available to the SSA, as well as the application itself.
- A waiting period of five months. All claimants face a mandatory wait period before receiving benefits. They must be disabled for five months following the onset date before they can receive benefits and will be paid at the start of the sixth month.
Call Marcus Vaden Law
When you suffer from a disability that makes it impossible to work and need financial support from the SSA, contact Marcus Vaden Law. Having legal representation and an advocate on your side can provide invaluable assistance with your disability claim. We’ll examine your application to determine if there are any errors or omissions, and we can also assist in gathering necessary medical evidence to give you a better chance of a successful claim. Call today for a free consultation.
Trust Us to Get You the Benefits You Deserve
Attorney Marcus Vaden has been a criminal prosecutor for almost 30 years. He brings his skill in the courtroom to every disability hearing he attends, presenting clear and convincing arguments to the judge.
If you were denied the disability benefits you rightfully deserve, we will do what it takes to win on appeal. Disability attorneys’ legal fees are set by the SSA, so there is no reason to comparison shop based on cost. If you want an experienced disability law firm with proven courtroom experience in Arkansas, look no further than the Marcus Vaden Law Firm. Fill out our contact form or call our Conway office today!