To learn more about the disability process process, contact a Charlotte disability attorney at the Bridgman Law Offices by calling 704-815-6055.
If you’re applying for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits, your Charlotte disability attorney will advise you on the different evaluation methods that are used by state agencies and administration law judges (ALJs) who preside over disability hearings. Laws say that decisions at each level must be consistent with the medical records that applicants submit. However, state decision-makers and ALJs often see the evidence differently. At the state level, workers evaluate the facts in your application. Instead of assessing your inability to work, these people check to see if your condition is on the agency’s Listing of Impairments. If it’s not, you could be denied without a reason, especially if you’re under 50. In most cases, state employees use residual functional capacity (RFC) formulas to measure your ability to work. Unfortunately, most calculations find that applicants are able to perform many sedentary tasks and are not disabled. When ALJs evaluate a case, they look at all of the medical evidence and set flexible parameters for possible RFC calculations. They will also assess your credibility and look at your side of the story to see which formula accurately describes your work capacity. Because of these differences, applicants under 50 are more likely to receive a favorable decision at an SSD hearing than they are in a state determination. Studies show that approval rates in SSD hearings and state determinations vary drastically. For example, state agencies approve 11 percent of applications from people with back-related claims. On the other hand, ALJs award benefits to 75 percent of claimants. The same is true for younger claimants who have back injuries. If you’re under 50 and have a back-related disability, you have a 2 percent chance of being approved at the state level. If your case goes to a hearing, your chances of recovering benefits increase to 68 percent.
The process of applying for SSD benefits is intended to be fair, but that’s not always the case. With an experienced attorney at your side, you can improve your chances of approval and ensure that your case goes before an ALJ. To learn more about the process, contact a Charlotte disability attorney at the Bridgman Law Offices by calling 704-815-6055.
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