It takes a long time to finally be awarded Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits beginning from the date of filing a first claim to the final benefits decision. For many, this process will take over a year, and, in some cases, it will take two years.
In addition to the wait, successful claimants will probably have to file at least two appeals and have a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). In some cases, the claimant will have to file an appeal with the U.S. District Court or even the U.S. Court of Appeals. One thing to keep in mind is that a claimant will greatly increase their chance of being awarded benefits if an experienced Boston disability benefits attorney is representing them. One reason for this is because the system is very much stacked against claimants who choose not to be represented by counsel. However, there is little reason to not have attorney, because you do not have to pay any legal fees in the vast majority of cases unless you are awarded benefits.
Another thing to keep in mind that it is very difficult to appeal to the district court of appeals without an attorney. While you are legally allowed to do so, there are strict procedural requirements to which the claimant must adhere, and the unrepresented claimant will get some leeway but will not get major help from the court.
With it being so difficult to get disability benefits, those who do qualify are reluctant to do anything that would jeopardize their benefits award. This is not normally a problem, but it can become one if claimant is feeling better and thinking about going back to work. Contrary to what many argue, most claimants would rather be working that sitting at home collecting a benefits check. One reason for this is because you can make a lot more money working than you can get in Social Security disability benefits. This was done on purpose by Congress to prevent people from collecting benefits when they are actually able to work.
If they think they may be able to work and start working, they would run the risk of losing all benefits, and that would be a major issue. There are programs such as the Ticket to Work program, but they have been less than successful. According to a recent news article from the Daily Signal, some lawmakers are working on another iteration of this bill known as the Return to Work Act of 2017. The plan is for those who are expected to improve over time, they would get limited time benefits with certain incentives to return to work.
While this may sound okay on paper and on the campaign trail, things don’t always work out so well in reality. One issue is if you are receiving Social Security disability benefits, you will also be eligible for Medicaid after some time to pay for much needed medical treatment. Once you lose your Social Security disability benefits, you will lose your medical benefits, and this will quite possibly make you unable to work once again.
If you or a loved one is seeking Social Security Disability Insurance in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
A Pathway to Work for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries, March 27, 2017, By Romina Boccia, The Daily Signal
More Blog Entries:
Social Security Disability Appeal Successful, Feb. 18, 2017, Boston SSDI Lawyer Blog