Applying for disability is often a time-consuming and arduous task. Once you have submitted your application, it may take as many as four to six months before you receive an initial decision on your claim. If you receive a denial letter and decide you want a hearing, the process drags on even longer. All the while, you are waiting, wondering if you will ever be accepted and what might affect your chances of success for a disability claim.
Suppose you are looking for signs that you will be approved for disability. In that case, your first step should be to ensure that you do everything you can to get your claim approved, which means providing accurate and complete information about your situation.Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) isn’t going to provide you with some sign that your claim might be approved. Rather, it’s on you to take a look at the totality of your circumstances and application. Ask yourself, do you have a “good claim” for disability in the very selective eyes of the SSA?
Are There Signs That an Applicant Will Be Approved for Disability?
Unfortunately, applicants won’t receive any hints or clues from the SSA regarding whether their SSDI claim will be approved or denied. Despite what some people might tell you, a denial notification won’t come sooner than an approval notification, and a consultative exam isn’t a clue as to what will happen with your claim. Same with requests for supplemental paperwork, as they are standard practice.
The best way to determine chances of success for a disability claim is to examine the strength of your case and the thoroughness of your application using the following questions:
Do You Have an Attorney?
You’re three times more likely to have your disability claim accepted if you hire an attorney to assist you in filing it. Not only does hiring an attorney increase your chances of an accepted claim, but it also helps take some of the burden off you. Your attorney can navigate your claim throughout the process, including any hearings or appeals that become necessary. They can help you gather medical records and other evidence supporting your claim. If you have an attorney, you can take it as a positive sign that your SSDI claim is more likely to be accepted.
Did Your Claim Include Evidence Proving that You Regularly See a Specialist?
Regularly seeing a medical specialist for treatment can increase the chances that your claim will be approved. However, you must provide sufficient evidence that you are doing this. By getting treatment from a medical professional, you show that you are putting in effort to improve or manage your medical condition.
Can You Prove You Were Hospitalized?
If you’ve been hospitalized or had intensive outpatient treatment for your condition for which you are seeking disability, either physical or mental, it can establish the severity of what you are dealing with. The more severe your condition, the more likely the SSA will approve your claim.
Did You Have a Physically Demanding Job?
If your physical or mental condition keeps you from working the physically demanding job you once did without problems, it could significantly increase your chances of success with your disability claim.
When considering your disability application for approval, the SSA includes your physical residual functional capacity (RFC), which determines the maximum capacity to which you are able to work with your condition. The more physical work you can do, the higher the RFC rating you’ll receive.
Medical evidence determines your level of limitation, so it’s imperative to include this type of evidence in your claim. Your ability to stand, walk, sit, lift, carry, and bend determines which category you will be placed in:
- Very heavy
If your physical limitations and other personal factors mean you can’t physically work your previous job and or do a different type of work, this is one of the surest signs that your disability application will receive approval.
How Long Do Disability Approvals Take?
Disability approvals may take as little as a few months or as much as a few years. You can anticipate a decision on your initial application within 5-6 months after you submit it. You can appeal the decision and file for reconsideration if your claim is denied. If you’re rejected once again, you have the right to request a hearing, but you must wait for a hearing date.
If you need help with your disability claim or are wondering if there are signs that you will be approved for disability in Southern California, contact The Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour. We offer free case reviews and can even complete them at your home.