Why Is It So Incredibly Hard To Get Permanent Disability Benefits?

Compared to some types of benefits for people with injuries and illnesses, Social Security Disability benefits are permanent.

They last as long as you can’t work due to serious health problems.

Benefits you get from long-term disability insurance policies often last for a limited amount of time. Benefits from a workers’ compensation claim after you’re hurt at work may only last until doctors determine your injury can’t improve anymore.

The long-lasting nature of government-run Social Security Disability—which gives you monthly income and access to Medicare—is part of what makes it valuable for anyone struggling with medical conditions.

With Social Security Disability, you generally can expect to keep receiving financial assistance, and the added level of stability that comes with it, for the foreseeable future.

But these benefits are hard to get.

Most people get denied.

If you’re in Binghamton, Elmira, Rochester or anywhere in Upstate New York or Central New York, the Lachman & Gorton Law Office can help you through the process of applying for disability benefits. Our disability lawyers have decades of experience.

Let’s take a look at why it’s so hard to get the permanent disability benefits offered by Social Security Disability.

Or if you have a question about your situation, get in touch with us.

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How Hard Is It to Get Permanent Social Security Disability Benefits?

Over a recent 10-year period, the odds of winning Social Security Disability benefits were tough, according to numbers from Social Security.

  • • 79 percent of people were denied on initial application.
  • • When asking for a reconsideration of a denial, only 2 percent more won benefits.
  • • When going to a hearing with a disability judge, only 8 percent more won benefits.
  • • After all steps in the process, 31 percent ultimately won benefits.
  • • The final denial rate was 67 percent (the numbers also include some claims with decisions not yet complete).

Qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits means providing evidence and arguments that you cannot work at all because of health problems and that your condition is permanent.

It usually means going through multiple steps of applying and appealing denials. Along the way, it’s easy to make mistakes.

The system works this way partly to make sure that people only receive benefits if they truly need them. But all the rules and steps sometimes make it feel like the system works against you.

If you handle your disability claim just right, it is possible to increase your chances of winning benefits .

One government study found you are almost three times more likely to be awarded benefits after your hearing—and make it into that smaller group that ultimately gets Social Security Disability—if you have a representative like a disability attorney with you.

Talk to the Lachman & Gorton disability law firm to learn more about your options.

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How Long Do Social Security Disability Benefits Last?

Although Social Security Disability benefits are permanent—and they require you to have lasting health impairments—benefits aren’t forever.

The idea behind Social Security Disability is to give you support when you have to stop working due to bad health before you reach the age that you can get Social Security Disability retirement benefits.

So these are ways that Social Security Disability benefits can end:

  • • You reach retirement age and switch to retirement benefits.
  • • After several years, Social Security conducts a Continuing Disability Review (CDR) to check on your benefits and decides you no longer qualify because your health has improved.
  • • You begin working and earning more than the “substantial gainful activity” level that Social Security Disability allows.

CDRs can happen every three years, seven years, or even longer periods of time.

They don’t always mean you’ll lose benefits. In fact, it’s generally easier to appeal a stop in benefits from a CDR than it is to apply for benefits or appeal a benefits denial in the first place.

The financial relief of getting Social Security Disability benefits can be a life-changer. The path to get there can be a slog.

Permanent disability benefits can be incredibly hard to get, but experienced Social Security Disability lawyers know how to navigate this path for you.

If you’re looking for permanent disability income in New York State, reach out to Lachman & Gorton.

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National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives
United States District Court of Northern and Western Districts
Broome County Bar Association