Minnesota workers who become disabled and can longer do their jobs may be entitled to obtain Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Unfortunately, obtaining benefits can be just as challenging as living with a disability or a life-threatening illness.
Fewer than 30 percent of initial applications for disability benefits are approved by the Social Security Administration. For this reason, disabled workers often seek assistance from an attorney who can help them fight for the benefits they are entitled to receive, even when their initial claims have been denied.
One man waited nine years to finally receive SSDI benefits. The journey was frustrating, heartbreaking and challenging, but folks who are in similar situations should not give up on fighting for the compensation they need to support themselves and their families when they become disabled.
When a disability application is denied by the SSA, disabled workers can ask the SSA to reconsider its decision. In many situations, the SSA will deny the application again, forcing disabled workers to either give up or appeal the decision.
Appealing a decision could take up to two years before an administrative law judge will review the case and several additional months before a judge will even make a decision. If an administrative law judge still does not approve one's claim, the disabled worker does have the option to take his or her case to the Social Security Administration's Appeals Council or even to the federal court system.
When the man who had been fighting for disability payments for nine years was finally awarded benefits, he discovered that he was entitled to more than $206,000 in SSDI payments that he should have been receiving since he first became disabled. The man suffered from heart failure, which made it impossible for him to continue working. The man found out that his benefits had finally been approved when he was recovering from his most recent heart surgery this year.
The SSA continues to stress that its resources are limited when trying to keep up with the number of disability applications and appeals that are filed each year. The SSA does claim that it is working on ways to improve and speed up the appeals process for disabled workers who are waiting for SSDI benefits.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Families face long waits for Social Security disability benefits," Yvonne Wenger, Oct. 27, 2012
- Have you had your SSDI benefits denied? Learn more about the disability appeals process by visiting our firm's disability appeals attorney page.