Many Americans, including some of those right here in New York, suffer serious injuries in car accidents, workplace mishaps, slip-and-fall incidences, and in many other ways. While many of these victims are able to reclaim their health and return to their normal lives, others are left with debilitating injuries that upend their day-to-day lives. Oftentimes these injuries interfere with an individual's ability to work. When this is the case, an individual can face significant financial hardship and destitution, which is why they need to consider seeking out the Social Security disability benefits to which they may be entitled.
There are some injuries that can be characterized as severe and life altering. A burn injury is one of them. In some cases, a burn could be so severe that it prevents a person from being able to lead a normal life. The recovery process can be extensive, require much time away from work. In these matters, this injury may be considered disabling.
Suffering injuries is a part of life. Fortunately, most individuals are able to quickly recover from the harm they have been inflicted, and it has a minimal impact on their day-to-day lives. Other injuries may be serious, but still allow a victim to get back to his or her normal life within a reasonable period of time. There are some injuries, though, that can leave a person disabled. Merely living with these injuries can be difficult enough, but finding a way to make ends meet when his or her medical condition renders him or her unable to work is another matter altogether.
It is clear that living with a disability presents many challenges. We talk a lot on this blog about how to build a strong Social Security Disability claim. Obviously, developing legal arguments that are supported by solid evidence increase the chances that one will succeed with his or her claim, allowing for benefits to be obtained. However, many New Yorkers are disheartened to discover that their initial claim, for whatever reason, is denied. As troublesome as that may seem, it is not the end of the road. This is because numerous appellate options exist.
Many people don't realize it, but there can be significant overlap between the workers' compensation system and the Social Security disability system. Usually, individuals who are injured on the job seek workers' compensation so that they can recoup their lost wages and medical expenses, thereby allowing them to focus on their recovery and returning to work. Many times, though, these individuals find that they are unable to return to work on account of their medical condition, which drives them to seek Social Security disability benefits.
The Social Security disability process can deceptively seem simple. At first glance, it appears one merely needs to show that he or she suffers from a medical condition that renders him or her unable to work. To a certain extent, this assessment is correct. But in reality, the matter is much more complicated.
Filing for Social Security disability benefits can seem daunting. Gathering evidence and crafting legal arguments can be challenging and tiring, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the system. Yet, despite all their hard work, many individuals who seek SSD benefits find their initial claim denied. As disheartening as that may be, these individuals should not be deterred from pursuing the matter further, as these denials can be appealed. The first step of the process is known as reconsideration, which is where the evidence presented at the initial hearing is reevaluated.
We spend a lot of time on this blog discussing how you can qualify for Social Security disability benefits under specific illnesses and injuries. However, we want to take a step back to give you a better glimpse at the big picture of SSD claim adjudication. Hopefully, this information will allow you to better see what the Social Security Administration is looking for when assessing your claim which, in turn, can help guide you in the preparation of your initial claim or your appeal.