New Proposal Would Tighten Rules on Social Security Disability Appeals

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced a new proposal that would require individuals applying for Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits to provide the government with all relevant medical information, even if it indicates that they are able to work. The proposal stems from an ongoing disagreement among the legal community as to whether SSDI attorneys are required to submit all medical information to Social Security judges during the appeals process, or just information that would help their client win Social Security disability benefits. If you are struggling with a disability that prevents you from working, and you think you may be eligible for disability benefits, contact our experienced SSDI lawyers at Rechtman & Spevak for legal help. With our attorneys on your side, you can protect your legal rights and pursue the SSDI benefits you deserve.

Understanding Social Security Disability

The Social Security disability application process is complex, and when an individual’s claim is denied by the SSA, the subsequent appeals process, which involves a hearing before a Social Security judge, can be even more so. These judges are responsible for “developing the record,” which means they must collect all relevant medical evidence necessary to decide the case and examine these records before making a decision. Social Security judges are permitted to seek more information in an SSDI case, but they rarely do, because it would be difficult for them to determine which doctors or hospitals to subpoena for additional medical files. And so, some medical information is left out.

“There have been allegations that when some representatives submit evidence to us, they deliberately withhold evidence they deem unfavorable to the claimant,” the SSA wrote in its new disability insurance proposal. “We also know, based on our program experience, that we do not always receive complete evidence.” Although federal law suggests that all relevant information must be submitted in an SSDI case, the SSA backtracked on this requirement several years ago under pressure from the trade group that represents the disability law community. Some SSDI attorneys have said that their ethical obligation is to help their client win the Social Security disability case.

Contact Our Experienced SSDI Attorneys Today

In response to this issue, the SSA is moving to tighten SSDI application rules, requiring claimants to submit “all evidence known to you that relates to whether or not you are blind or disabled,” the SSA explains. “This would include evidence that may be either favorable or unfavorable to your claim,” and the proposed changes could take place in the coming months. If you have applied for SSDI benefits from the SSA and your claim has been denied, or if you are unsure how to begin the SSDI application process, contact our Social Security disability attorneys at Rechtman & Spevak today. Our lawyers have years of experience helping disabled individuals seek SSDI benefits in Georgia, and can help you navigate the sometimes confusing process of pursuing disability benefits today.

Jaret A. Spevak
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Atlanta Attorney with Over 20 Years Experience
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