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Social Security Disability Benefits and Arthritis

Part 2 of 2 - Overcoming Problems With Social Security Disability Benefits


Updated June 27, 2014

Problems to Overcome With Social Security Disability Benefits

More than one million people file for disability benefits with the Social Security Administration each year.

  • The bad news is, nearly two out of three who apply for disability benefits will be denied.
  • The good news is, expert help is available to assist with the process and improve your odds of winning your case.

Social Security Disability Insurance

Social Security Disability is an insurance program paid by your FICA taxes.

All working Americans contribute 7.65 percent from every paycheck to Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes.

Under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, FICA taxes total 15.3 percent of your earned income. A total of 12.4 percent of your earned income (up to an annual limit) is paid into Social Security, an additional 2.9 percent of your earned income (with no limit) is paid into Medicare. If you are an employee, you pay only half the FICA taxes (6.2 percent for Social Security + 1.45 percent for Medicare for a total of 7.65 percent), your employer pays in the other 7.65 percent. People who are self-employed pay in the entire 15.3 percent.)

Some of that payment goes toward disability insurance coverage by the Social Security Administration. However, bureaucratic problems plaguing Social Security Administration's Disability Insurance program often prevent fair and speedy distribution of disability benefits to people who are eligible.

Problems When Applying for Disability Benefits

If you choose to apply for disability benefits by yourself, there are several problems you will face such as:

  • backlogs of unprocessed disability claims.
  • an average five-month wait after filing a claim before receiving an answer on the initial claim, and almost a year of additional delays if the claim is appealed.
  • backlogs of disability cases awaiting review, with hundreds of thousands of cases coming up for review each year.

Do You Need Representation?

Though initially designed to make it easy for people to represent themselves, it did not take long for attorneys and representatives to become involved in the disability process. Representation in a Social Security Disability case can be valuable since:

  • learning the details of the system can be difficult.
  • rules are increasingly complex.
  • experts know the details of the process.
  • experts may improve your odds of winning disability benefits.

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits - 5 Part Self-Help Guide

This five-part guide is a practical approach to the Social Security disability application process for the disabled person who is thinking about applying and plans to do it without a representative.

There are steps you can take to give yourself the best chance for a favorable decision on your initial claim, thereby avoiding the lengthy appeals processes. This will involve some effort, and success is not guaranteed. You will help yourself by doing your part to present your case as strongly as possible.

Preparing for Your Day in Court

The Social Security Administration routinely denies about two-thirds of all initial applications for disability benefits.

Administrative law judges, however, eventually overturn more than half of the denials that reach their desks.

  • How do you prepare for this all-important hearing?
  • What can you expect?
  • How long will the hearing last?

Why Should You Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Why should I apply for Social Security disability benefits if my employer or insurance company is already paying benefits?

Those who do not know the answer to that question are shortchanging themselves. And so are employers who do not realize the lack of Social Security qualification is costing them a larger share of their employees; disability benefits than necessary.

Sources: Allsup Inc.; IRS Publication 15; Social Security Administration
For more information about Allsup Inc. services visit the consumer web site.

Back to Part 1 --- How Are Disability Benefits Determined? --->

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