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Disability Benefits Fixed a Gap in Worker Support, But Most Still Get Denied

Disability attorney Tom Nash meets with people in the Nash Disability Law Chicago office. Disability benefits were created to help workers whose incomes are cut short by health problems. But many people are denied and get the help of disability lawyers to

Most people get denied for Social Security Disability benefits. Disability appeals lawyers like those at Nash Disability Law in Chicago help people through the process.

Social Security Disability benefits were created to help workers who get sidelined due to health problems before retirement. But most who apply are denied.

CHICAGO, IL, UNITED STATES, June 22, 2022 / -- Twenty-one years after Social Security started as a key part of helping Americans stay financially stable in retirement, the government moved to correct a big omission: helping workers who face disabilities before they reach retirement.

In 1956, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) began, providing monthly income assistance to working-age people who paid into Social Security before health problems ended their ability to work.

Now, 66 years after that, over 8 million workers receive these benefits.


But another challenge shapes Social Security Disability today: mass denials of benefits.

In a recent 10-year period, only 21 percent of applicants on average were awarded benefits on their first attempt. After two rounds of appealing denials of benefits, the approval numbers only inched up. In the end, 31 percent of claimants got benefits.


So for disability lawyers who help people navigate this process, one of the top questions they hear is, “How do I appeal my Social Security Disability denial?”

It’s not a simple answer. It includes updating information in a worker’s file with Social Security, adding medical evidence and acting promptly to meet deadlines.

Someone seeking benefits can go through four levels of appeal: asking for a reconsideration, going to a hearing with a Social Security administrative law judge, asking for a review by Social Security’s Appeals Council, and suing in federal court.

While it isn’t required to have a lawyer to apply for disability benefits, grappling with the appeals process gets complicated enough—including how to prepare for a Social Security Disability hearing—that many people turn to disability attorneys for help.

Nash Disability Law, based in Chicago and one of the largest law firms focusing exclusively on Social Security Disability law, emphasizes that it’s easy for people to make mistakes in a system full of bureaucratic safeguards meant to weed out ineligible disability claims.

But disability lawyers who’ve been through the process thousands of times can help people avoid those mistakes and improve their chances of ultimately getting into the minority who are approved for life-changing benefits.

(One government study found people with representatives at their disability hearings were almost three times more likely to be approved for benefits:

Learn more about Social Security Disability on the Nash Disability Law blog.

Tom Nash
Nash Disability Law
+1 312-605-9111
email us here

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