02 Jul The 5 most important factors to win your social security disability case
Have you considered applying for social security disability benefits? Maybe you have been denied and don’t understand why your claim was not successful? Before you submit a social security disability claim, you should know more about the social security disability requirements that play into whether or not your social security disability claim will be approved.
The five most important factors for winning a social security disability case:
You lost your job because of your poor health.
The judge that reviews your disability claim will want to know, “how did your last job end?” A strong social security disability case relies on the claimant (you) experiencing symptoms and limitations of a condition (or multiple conditions), that without question will keep you from being able to work.
Consider these two examples:
“I cannot return to work because my company closed down due to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In Scenario 1, there is no indication that the claimant cannot return to work due to medical impairment, only that they are currently unemployed due to a poor economy and job market.
“I have worked in a factory for 25 years doing heavy lifting and manual labor. I recently had back surgery to repair a herniated disc. When I returned to work I tried for 3 weeks to perform my usual duties, and discovered I can no longer perform the functions of my job. My doctor has re-evaluated my health and does not believe I will regain my ability to lift or stand for long periods of time. My boss had to let me go.”
In Scenario 2 the judge can see a direct correlation between the physical toll of the job over many years, and the medical impairment that now makes it impossible to work. In this case, the judge is likely to approve the social security disability claim (assuming other criteria are met).
Your disability is chronic.
A chronic disability is one that has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months. A judge will want to see that your disability or medical impairment has not responded sufficiently to treatment, or is found to be permanent, and thus you cannot return to work.
Some people incorrectly believe that a very serious or sudden physical impairment can qualify for social security disability benefits. This is not always the case! Sudden medical conditions such as a heart attack are considered acute conditions, which are conditions that are expected to improve or respond to treatment. In the case of acute conditions, a judge will likely deny the claim because it is assumed the claimant can return to work within a short period of time.
You do not abuse alcohol or drugs.
Drug and alcohol abuse (DAA) can greatly harm your chances of winning a social security disability case. A judge is unlikely to side with a claimant whose use of those substances can worsen their disability or impairment. For example:
The claimant suffers from a debilitative mental illness that they claim prevents them from being to work. However, it has been found that they exhibit violent behavior when under the influence of alcohol.
In this case, the judge can infer that alcohol use makes the psychological symptoms worse, and that in turn may be why the claimant cannot return to work. The claim will most likely be denied.
You follow your doctor’s orders.
An administrative law judge will want to see that you are following the care plan laid out by your doctor. You will want to prove that you have followed the doctor’s orders and are earnestly trying to improve your health, but time has shown your condition is not improving, and it is keeping you from returning to work.
You have tried to find a new job you CAN do.
Winning a social security disability case requires that the claimant has proven that they cannot do any kind of work. For example, if your disability prevents you from performing physical labor, a judge will want to see that you have tried to find a job in a field that does not require you to use your physical strength.
Young workers face particularly difficult circumstances when applying for social security disability benefits, because the government will assume the young claimant has the mental capacity and flexibility to find a new career or line of work.
Older workers that have performed the same type of job for many years, and who are near retirement age, have a better chance of receiving benefits because it is assumed it will be difficult for them to learn or find a new career late in life.
These five important factors are not the only ones a judge will consider when they hear your social security case. Your case must be properly prepared, the right documents submitted, and a strategic argument laid out to improve your chances of receiving the benefits you need and deserve.
How can I win my social security disability case?
The short answer: by hiring an experienced social security disability attorney to do the heavy lifting for you! 67% of social security disability applications are denied on the first try. The process is time consuming and often overwhelming for people with disabilities who are already going through a difficult situation.
The reconsideration and appeals process is very complex, but your chances of receiving benefits are vastly improved when you hire an attorney for social security disability. Even better? You won’t pay a single cent in attorney fees unless Evan wins your case.
Call or text us now at 509-879-4626 to get started.