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Changes may make Social Security disability claims harder

It may be more important than ever to thoroughly understand the application and appeals processes for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security disability (SSD) process may have recently become even harder for applicants to obtain benefits. New regulations which recently went into effect are eliminating what is referred to as the treating-physician rule. Prior to the change, the rule required reviewers of applications to place significant weight on the physician's report provided in support of the claim for benefits submitted by the applicant.

The concern is that the change in regulations will make it more difficult for applicants for disability benefits to demonstrate eligibility for disability benefits. In addition, the new regulations will also not place added weight on disability determinations from other agencies. The number of applicants receiving benefits has declined due to a decline in approved. There are currently 8.8 million disabled individuals receiving disability benefits which is the lowest number of disabled individuals receiving benefits in 5 years.

Social Security disability benefits are important benefits for disabled individuals who are having difficulty supporting themselves or their families because their disability creates an inability to work. In addition to having a disability that is so severe it prevents the applicant from working, and having the necessary work history, applicants for disability must also have a physical or mental medical condition that prevents them from working and is expected to last for 12 months or longer or result in death.

Because the Social Security disability application process can be complex and difficult, it is important for disabled individuals to understand how to approach the process and how to put together a claim for benefits. Because it can be a challenging process, being familiar with it can help applicants better navigate the application process to obtain badly-needed benefits.

Source:, "New rules go into effect for Social Security disability claims," Nick McGill, March 27, 2017

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Philip J. Fulton Law OfficeRepresenting Victims Of Workplace Injuries And Disability

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