Is There A Way To Get Disability Benefits on the First Try?

You may be eligible for disability benefits through the U.S Social Security Administration (SSA) if you have a disability that prevents you from working. Social Security disability benefits can help you cover the cost of basic needs, like food and housing.

It’s very common for the SSA to deny initial claims for benefits. You can ask for a reconsideration when this happens. However, your goal may be to get approved on the first try. The following guide explains how you might achieve this goal.

Severity of The Condition

The SSA’s Compassionate Allowance program ensures those who face life-threatening conditions can receive benefits more quickly than they otherwise might. If medical evidence shows your condition is likely to result in death within six months, you may qualify for a compassionate allowance, in which the SSA expedites approval of benefits.

Thorough Medical Evidence

One of the most common reasons the SSA denies initial claims is insufficient medical evidence. You must provide medical evidence showing that you have a disability that meets the criteria established in the SSA’s Blue Book.

Gathering and submitting as much medical evidence as you can may improve your chances of getting approved for benefits on the first try. Be sure to continue with treatments throughout the application process.

Being Unable To Work

Your condition must prevent you from engaging in “substantial gainful activity” for you to qualify for disability benefits. For someone who is blind, in 2024, that means they earn $2590 or less in a month. For someone who isn’t blind, they must earn $1550 or less a month to qualify for disability benefits.

Showing evidence you can’t work and participate in substantial gainful activity is just as important as providing medical evidence when applying for benefits. You must also show your condition is likely to prevent you from working for a minimum of 12 months.

Having Enough Work Credits

Disability benefits come in two forms:

How you may improve your chances of getting approved for benefits on the first try may depend at least in part on the types of benefits you seek. For example, to qualify for SSDI, you must have worked and paid into the Social Security system in the past. Thus, when applying for benefits, you need to show documentation proving you’ve earned sufficient “work credits.”

Working With A Disability Attorney

Hiring an attorney can simplify the process of applying for benefits. It might also improve your chances of getting an approval on the first try. Per the SSA, applicants who hire attorneys are three times more likely to get approved for disability benefits than applicants who apply without legal assistance.

Be aware that you can also hire a lawyer at any point in the process. For example, the SSA may have already denied your initial claim. You could nevertheless hire an attorney to help with your appeal.

The best way to learn about the benefits of working with a lawyer is to review your case with one. Get started today by taking the Free Case Review to connect with an independent, participating lawyer who subscribes to this website.

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