Many would-be claimants for Social Security disability benefits spend significant time and energy agonizing over the decision of whether to submit an application. Given the lack of clarity in the Social Security Administration’s evaluation process, hesitation on the part of claimants is understandable; however, it is unnecessary. There is no penalty if you apply for but are denied disability benefits. As such, if you believe you are truly unable to work due to an impairment, you should apply.
While you can never be sure whether the SSA will decide to grant benefits in a particular case, there are some guidelines the SSA follows in evaluating claims that can be instructive:
Under the SSA’s standards, it becomes easier to obtain benefits as you age.
- If you are between the ages of 45 and 50, cannot handle a full time job, and cannot carry out any of your previous jobs, you should apply for benefits
- If you are over 50 and can only do the easiest jobs, you probably stand a strong chance of obtaining benefits
- If you are over 55 and cannot handle any jobs you have held in the past 15 years, applying for benefits is probably a good idea
Although your age is one of the best indicators of how the SSA will evaluate your claim for benefits, other factors also come into play. For instance, if you are unable to speak English, the SSA eases the standard you must meet to qualify for benefits.
The worst thing that can happen if you apply for disability benefits is that your application will be denied. Thus, even if you are unsure as to whether your impairment is sufficiently severe to render you eligible, you should apply. Further, if your initial application is denied, it is probably a good idea to pursue appeals until you obtain an administrative hearing. Administrative law judges often present claimants their strongest opportunity to obtain benefits.
We Can Help
If you are suffering from a disabling condition that prevents you from working and are planning to apply for Social Security disability benefits, it is in your best advantage to consult with a lawyer to help you through the long application process. For a free consultation, please contact Indianapolis Social Security attorney Martin Barnes, Esq. at (317) 804-5058.