Don’t Always Trust What Social Security Staffers Tell You

Don’t Always Trust What Social Security Staffers Tell You

In a recent post in PBS Newshour’s Making Sense blog, economist Laurence Kotlikoff outlines a staggering 25 reasons why the statements of Social Security personnel are not always to be trusted. His main point comes down to this: Social Security is a tightly controlled program with very clear guidelines, yet many staffers are clueless about their own rules and regulations.

This doesn’t surprise us. It is common that people in Mt. Pleasant, and throughout the Charleston area, have been given false information from Social Security staffers in regards to their Social Security disability claims.

To help our clients better understand the risk of taking statements from the SSA at face value, we’ve provided several reasons here why it’s best to always seek a second opinion.

Many Social Security Disability Claims Are Denied Mistakenly

The Social Security Administration’s own numbers show the erroneous nature of many Social Security Disability claim denials. Out of all Social Security Disability claims, approximately 65 percent are denied. While that is a poor record of success, we can assume that many denied applications do not in fact qualify for benefits. The numbers get more interesting during the appeals process. Appeals for reconsideration are approved a mere 13 percent of the time, while third appeals to administrative law judges (ALJ’s) typically receive a 62 percent approval rate. That means that a large majority of judge’s found enough errors in Social Security denials to justify overturning them.

The bottom line is that to be approved for Social Security disability benefits, you will likely need to go through the appeals process. How far exactly depends upon the nature of your case.

Administrative Law Judges Can Also Make Mistakes

When an ALJ denies your appeal for disability benefits, you can appeal the ruling to the Appeals Council. The council will typically either deny your appeal or remand it, meaning that it is sent it back to the ALJ with recommendations. Remand rates have declined recently to an estimated 22 percent. Reasons for remanded decisions vary, but can include:

  • A lack of adequate consideration to medical opinions
  • An unfair and incomplete assessment of your ability to work
  • Mistakes in recording the severity of your disabilities

Though these are common reasons for remanded decisions, the actions of ALJs and appeals boards vary widely from case to case. You will want to consult with an attorney about your chances of successfully remanding an ALJ’s decision.

Find an Experienced Social Security Disability Lawyer

When it comes to your Social Security Disability application, you should not leave its success or failure in the hands of error-prone staffers and judges. You need the benefit of a dedicated legal advocate who will argue on your behalf throughout the legal process.

At Klok Law Firm LLC, we work to help people in Mt. Pleasant and throughout the Charleston area navigate the Social Security disability claims process. If you require help with submitting an application or appealing a denial, contact us today to talk to an experienced attorney.