In 2013, about two-thirds of the applications for Social Security disability benefits were denied. In Maryland and other states the chances for success depend on a number of legal issues that are important for the applicant to address. The applicant for Social Security disability must first of all show that he or she is disabled and cannot work.
That is often stated to require proof that the applicant cannot engage in any gainful employment activity due to the disability. Thus, the applicant will benefit greatly by having the cooperation and support of his or her treating physicians. An initial letter from the main treating doctor stating that the applicant is totally disabled and cannot engage in any work activities is very helpful, and usually serves to start the application off on a strong footing.
Preliminarily, there are work credit requirements that must be established before even going into the medical aspects of the case. This means that the applicant must have worked a sufficient number of months during certain work cycles prior to the petition. These regulations are easily accessed on the Internet and are explained by the agency in the beginning process of an application.
Due to the legal issues involved in proving a total work disability, it is best to obtain the assistance of a Social Security Disability attorney when appealing an initial rejection. This will significantly increase the applicant's chances. The experienced counsel will know precisely what evidence must be obtained to present an effective case on appeal.
In Maryland and elsewhere, an appeal of an initial application denial by the agency will provide for the appointment of a Social Security Disability judge to hear the case and render an opinion. It is critically important to be thoroughly prepared to confront all issues that may come up at the hearing. That includes being prepared to question any occupational or other experts testifying by appointment of the agency.