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SSA proposal could make legal consultation more important

We have written from time to time on our Pennsylvania personal injury blog about how it can be important to have solid legal advice when it comes to applying for Social Security disability insurance benefits. This might become even more important if a proposal regarding requirements for Social Security disability applicants is adopted.

The proposal requires applicants to submit all evidence, both favorable and unfavorable, to the Social Security Administration when applying for benefits. The impetus for the proposal was apparently a newspaper article published in 2011 that purported to show how some applicants were not giving all the information about their condition to the government when they were applying for benefits.

Another reason for the proposal is that the system is bursting at the seams. In 2012, for example, there were more than 3 million applications for benefits and more than 800,000 hearing requests. Whether or not this proposal would tamp down these numbers is anyone's guess, but it does mean that people who apply for benefits in the future ought to be aware of everything they need to bring to the table in order to successfully apply or appeal.

The proposal almost has the effect of assuming that people are going to withhold information. This isn't necessarily the case; folks obviously want to have the best result possible for their cases, so they want to make a convincing argument. Due to the complicated nature of the application process and the appeals process, if an application is denied, legal assistance might provide a big boost.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Social Security Proposes to Tighten Rules on Disability Appeals," Damian Paletta, March 6, 2014

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