Disability Law – Has It Stayed Current With the Times?

By on February 23, 2013

In order to compete in today’s labor market, you have to be able-bodied with no pre-existing conditions that hinder your performance on the job. Not everyone can meet these requirements. Individuals with long-term disabilities and illnesses that make it impossible to work before the age of sixty-five should be able to collect benefits that still enable them to have a satisfactory quality of life.

Applying for disability benefits is a long process that can be tedious and frustrating. Regardless of the unfavorable regimen associated with collecting insurance, the number of people who need disability benefits continues to increase rapidly. According to the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), the Social Security Administration estimates that at least 1 in 4 20-year-old Americans will become disabled citizens before they turn 65 years of age. This is all the more reasons for effective laws to be in place in order to benefit those who desperately need help making ends meet through no fault of their own.

How Disability Laws Have Changed Over Time  
Over the years, short term and long term disability benefits have helped keep a lot of people who weren’t able to hold a 9-to-5 off the streets by providing allotted funds for food, shelter, and clothing. The initial concept emerged as part of the Social Security Act which was put in place during the aftermath of the Great Depression in the 1930’s. Although the program’s intent was good, it remained somewhat problematic through the early 1950’s, particularly because of its exclusion of women and minority groups. Funding levels remained grossly low as well.

The last 1950’s and early 1960’s witnessed an increase in funding rates and the inclusion of all groups in America. Minute changes would continue over several presidencies and throughout the next few decades. The most meaningful program that impacted disabled individuals was the creation of the Social Security Income program in the 1970’s which focused directly on providing income for incapacitated citizens.

Many would assume since SSI has made tremendous improvements, less people are left out in the cold to fend for themselves. However, several circumstances have not made this possible.  The most evident reasons include the economic collapse that struck a few years ago, as well as the overwhelming  presence of  veterans and mentally ill individuals.

Reasons for Being Denied Disability Benefits 
You’re not alone if you’ve been turned down for disability benefits. Most applicants experience this letdown during the initial phases of the appeals process. If you don’t have a certified attorney to help plead your case, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll change the minds of the officials who have the power to grant or negate requests.

There’s typically a number of reasons why your local office may have denied your right to be a recipient of this kind of insurance. For one, some individuals need more concrete proof of their condition, such as doctors’ verification, prescription orders, and copies of medical history reports.

In addition, SSI representatives tend to refuse applications from individuals who’ve already applied for disability insurance. This is why it’s better to appeal the original denial rather than initiate a new request.

Those who don’t follow their doctors’ orders aren’t likely to collect disability, either. Examiners want to be able to determine if your inability to work is caused by the severity of your condition or failure to adhere to a personalized medical treatment plan.

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