It takes a long time to get a disability case heard by an administrative law judge. In many cases, it's taking more than two years from the date of filing to get a court date in the state of Illinois.
Many applicants for Social Security Disability benefits find the application process to be frustrating and overwhelming, especially when they are initially denied. If you have filed a claim for benefits, you have the right to counsel under the Administrative Procedure Act §6(a), 5 U.S.C. §1005(a). Hiring an attorney can help demystify the process, ensure fairness, and even improve your chances of approval at the hearing level.
One common question that people considering applying for disability ask is whether owning a home will prevent them from receiving disability benefits.
After you file your Social Security Disability claim, you may be asked to fill out an adult function report (Form SSA-3373), to aid a decision-maker in determining whether you are completely disabled. The function report should outline how your impairments interfere with activities of daily living (ADLs) according to your own words. Activities of daily living may include the ability to get dressed, groom yourself, prepare meals, clean your home, obtain groceries, and care for children or pets.
Some people go their whole lives without becoming disabled. Some are disabled to the point that they must stop working. Still others face multiple disabilities during their lifetimes, causing frequent trips not only to the doctor, but also to the SSA office for disability benefits.
Few people are satisfied with the Social Security Administration's process for determining disability and awarding benefits. Some may think that Social Security Disability (SSD) standards are not strict enough and discourage people from working even when they can. Those on the other side see that SSD is essential for millions of people. They argue that SSD eligibility requirements are too strict, keeping benefits from the disabled Americans who need them.
The Social Security Administration rejects approximately two of every three initial Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applications it receives. That is a difficult statistic to swallow, especially when many individuals who apply for SSDI are dealing with financial strain in addition to their disabilities.