We read newspaper and magazine articles from across the nation, as well as statements from the Social Security Administration in order to keep our San Diego readers up to date on Social Security Disability Insurance. We recently came across a letter to the editor of a Spokane, Washington, newspaper in which a reader argued that in recent years there have been "lowered standards and greatly expanded eligibility for Social Security Disability."
We don't know the genesis of that myth, but we do know that SSDI standards have not been lowered and eligibility has not been expanded. The fact is that the Social Security Administration has a rigorous process to determine who is eligible and that only those applicants able to prove with medical documentation that they are disabled qualify for benefits.
In fact, more than half of all people who apply for disability benefits are turned down. Only those able to successfully appeal the denial will eventually receive the program's modest benefits.
On its website, the SSA notes that those appeals are heard by administrative law judges who make decisions based on the law, your medical documentation and statements given in the hearing.
Of course you have the right to have legal representation with you at the hearing. Your SSDI attorney can also attend conferences and interviews with you or for you. In addition to representing you at your appeal hearing, your attorney can also help you and your witnesses prepare for the hearing that could well be the deciding factor in the claim process.
An experienced San Diego SSDI attorney helps clients navigate the paperwork, the gathering of documents, the questioning and the appeals hearing.