Many people are overwhelmed by the Social Security Disability application process. This isn't very surprising when you consider how frustrating the process can be. If you've read the various forums and blogs, you've likely heard more than a few stories about Social Security Disability nightmares. Tales abound about people having legitimate claims denied, waiting years for benefits to begin, being treated unfairly during the appeal process, the list goes on...
If your case is remanded to the Social Security Hearings office, previously known as the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA), this could be very good news. According to statistics issued by the Federal government, Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) approve over 50% of the claims that get to this level.
Unfortunately, once a Social Security Disability claim is transferred from the local Social Security office to the hearings office, it can take up to a year to get a hearing scheduled. In addition, claimants may hear nothing about their case until the department sends:
Many people are under the notion that people who are on Social Security Disability are not allowed to earn any money at all. I have, in fact, known disabled people who were even afraid to sell some of their used items on eBay for fear that it would actually put their Social Security Disability income at risk. Are these fears founded? Are the people who receive Social Security Disability benefits prevented from receiving any income other than what their Social Security Disability income provides?
The number of Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) claims has risen virtually hand in hand with unemployment figures, causing some to dub the program the “hidden welfare.”
In an article dated September 14, 2010, the Washington Post stated, “The number of former workers seeking Social Security disability benefits has spiked with the nation’s economic problems, heightening concern that the jobless are expanding the program beyond its intended purpose of aiding the disabled.”
If you are disabled and wish to apply for Social Security disability benefits, you may have decided to hire someone to help you with the process. While you understand the benefits of choosing an advocate, you may be uncertain what type of advocate to use. If you have decided on a particular type of advocate, you may wonder what questions to ask to make sure you are making a good choice.