When it comes to being successful in submitting a Social Security disability claim, the most important factors are the nature of your medical condition and the severity of your disability. According to various studies, less than half of individuals who apply for Social Security Disability benefits are actually approved. Interestingly, surveys show that certain impairments are more difficult to receive benefits for than others. Some of the reasons for lower approval rates include the seriousness of the diagnosis, the prognosis for the individual, and the difficulty in proving that the impairment prevents the individual from working.
Approval Rates for the Most Common Impairments
The impairment with the highest approval rate (68%) is multiple sclerosis. The second highest is cancer (64%). The remaining four common impairments all have approval rates of less than 50 percent: respiratory disorders (47%), osteoarthritis or joint diseases (40%), mood and anxiety disorders (37%) and back problems (34%).
Individuals whose claims are denied initially but request a hearing have slightly higher approval rates for those same impairments: multiple sclerosis (80%), chronic respiratory disorders (66%), osteoarthritis or joint diseases (64%), mood and anxiety disorders (59%) and back problems (63%).
Approval Rates Improve Following a Hearing
It is obvious from surveys that having a hearing on your disability claim, which means having the opportunity to present further evidence to support your disability, increases the likelihood of approval. For example, intellectual disorders have an approval rate of 88% after a hearing. Several other common impairments also have approval rates of more than 50%: congestive heart failure (80%), diabetic neuropathy (77%), stroke-related conditions (76%), cognitive disorders (73%), cognitive disorders (73%), coronary artery disease (71%), chronic liver disease (68%) and fibromyalgia (58%).
Heart disease and other cardiovascular issues can affect an individual’s ability to work in many ways. These can include heart attacks, arrhythmias, coronary artery disease, and congestive heart failure. Treatment of these various heart conditions can include prescription medication, surgery, and/or exercise and reduced stress. When it comes to disability benefits for these conditions, a social security disability applicant must demonstrate how the condition affects their physical, and even psychological, capacity in a way that is serious enough to keep them from working.
It is probably not surprising, but a cancer diagnosis receives serious consideration by the Social Security Administration. However, applying for social security benefits in the face of a cancer diagnosis can be very complicated. Therefore, it is best to seek the assistance of a social security disability attorney before applying. Depending on the stage of cancer involved, the application may necessitate immediate review.
Chronic Back Pain
Perhaps one of the most common conditions reported by applicants for social security disability benefits is chronic back pain. Back pain itself is not the diagnosed condition, but instead a symptom of a condition. Nevertheless, depending on the severity of the pain, it can have a significant effect on your ability to hold down a full-time job. That can be true regardless of how physical your job duties may be. Some medical conditions that result in chronic back pain are degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, and stenosis. These and other conditions leading to back pain are often treated with surgery or through pain management such as narcotics, physical therapy, and spinal injections.
Mental Health Conditions
All conditions that are eligible for social security disability benefits are not physical. Psychological or mental health conditions may also be eligible for benefits. If a mental health condition affects your ability to work because, for example, you are not able to stay focused for an entire shift, the condition may qualify you for social security disability benefits. Some of the most common mental health conditions approved are depression, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and intellectual disabilities.
Ways to Prove That You Meet the Definition of Disability
Our disability attorney explains that there are three basic ways to prove that you meet the definition of disability established by the Social Security Administration: (1) meeting a Social Security listing, (2) fitting within a “grid rule,” or (3) proving that your ability to function in a simple, entry-level job is significantly compromised by your condition that you could not reasonably be a reliable employee. However, the easiest and quickest way to be approved for Social Security disability benefits is by meeting a listing.
Why Meeting a Social Security Listing is So Helpful
There several reasons why meeting a listing is the easiest way to be approved for Social Security disability benefits. The SSA listings provide a description of what the agency considers serious medical problems. If you condition meetings one of the conditions listed, then the SSA will assume that your capacity to work is compromised. In that case, you will not be required to offer substantial proof regarding your work capacity.
If you have questions regarding approval rates or any other Social Security disability matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (888) 616-6356.