Obtaining Government Aid for Disabled Workers can be Difficult

Accidents happen and when they do, the government offers a Social Security Disability Insurance program for qualified applicants.

The disability benefits provided through the Social Security Administration is partially funded by FICA taxes and pays those unable to work for at least one year until their health is restored or Social Security kicks in upon reaching retirement age.

About 8.6 million workers are receiving SSDI benefits in 2012, according to an SSA report. The study also reveals a chilling truth about the frequency of serious injuries or illnesses. An astonishing 3 out of 10 workers currently 20-years-old will become disabled before the age of 65.

While the program is often a life-saver for households who need the financial support while a loved one is out of work, actually collecting benefits is sometimes difficult. Firstly, the claim process is complicated and lengthy. There are five steps to the evaluation process. Secondly, few who apply receive coverage. According to the SSA, the majority of nearly 3.5 million individuals who applied for SSDI last year were turned down. For every acceptance, there were almost three rejections.

According to Social Security Disability experts, the most common reasons for a denial letter are:

  • A lack of conclusive medical evidence from a doctor verifying that an injury or illness prevents the applicant from working
  • The claimant has been denied before
  • A failure to follow a doctor's prescribed treatment
  • Failing to cooperate with the SSDI

The way the SSDI is set up, just reaching the rejection stage is an accomplishment. There is such a backlog of claims - more than 1.8 million - that the wait time just to hear a decision can be more than 800 days. With government cutbacks expected to continue in an effort to balance the budget, the logjam is expected to only get worse. These difficulties in obtaining disability benefits only further illustrates the need to consult with an experienced social security disability attorney if you have been injured and are unable to work.