Social Security Disability Insurance in the State of Maryland
Maryland ranks number 18 on America’s Health rankings and has a high prevalence of air pollution. Apart from chronic and acute respiratory diseases, air pollution has an impact on cardiovascular health and brain health sometimes leading to debilitating conditions that prevents people from working. About 3% of those on the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipient list are those with disabilities related to respiratory diseases. The top two diagnostics on the Maryland SSDI beneficiary list are those with disabilities related to mental disorders (34%) and the musculoskeletal system (24%).
Having a disability that prevents you from working for at least one year could qualify you to receive benefits from federal programs like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provided you meet certain medical and non-medical eligibility conditions such as:
- Having a disability that exactly meets or is equivalent to an impairment in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) Blue Book.
- The disability should prevent you from engaging in substantial gainful activity.
- You have earned enough work credits in the Social Security system.
In Maryland about 29% of the applicants are approved for SSDI benefits at the initial application level.
Filing a Social Security Disability Insurance Claim in Maryland
About 10.6% of residents in Maryland suffer from a disability but because the SSA guidelines are very stringent and their definition of disability is unique, only 3.7% of the resident population are on the SSDI beneficiary list.
Those with disabilities that are an exact match to any one or more of the listings in the Blue Book are easily approved for SSDI benefits. The SSA also recognizes extremely severe cases of disability and can expedite the process of approval for such people.
The majority of people applying for SSDI benefits, however, do not meet exact conditions in the Blue Book but they can still be approved to receive benefits through a medical vocational allowance. To determine whether you can receive a medical vocational allowance the SSA will examine your work experience of the last 15 years. The SSA will also evaluate your Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). This is an assessment of your physical and mental limitations directly related to your disability. By reviewing your work history, medical reports and RFC, educational qualifications, and your age, the SSA will determine whether your skills can be transferred to other jobs. Only if your disability prevents you from working at your current job or any other job, will the SSA approve you for receiving a medical allowance.
The entire process can take 90 to 120 days, often longer if there is a backlog in the Social Security system. However, a common cause of delay is something claimants can easily avoid. Most delays are caused by claimants not filing complete information. It is good to be fully aware of the kind of evidence the SSA is looking for in order to show you meet the criteria. Disability United can give you professional guidance at this stage so that you have the best chance of winning at the earliest possible stage.
Click here to know more about the SSDI application process or watch the informative video below.
The procedure for starting the claims application process is the same in every state. You have the choice of applying online, by phone, or in person at a Social Security office near you. In the state of Maryland there are 26 Social Security offices. While the SSA receives your application, it is sent to a state agency where your case is assigned to a disability examiner trained in the determination decision-making process. The disability examiner will request for your medical records from the treatment centers you have listed. He may consult with medical and vocational experts to weigh in on his decision. The examiner will call you for an interview which may be via video or telephone if you are not able to come in person.
With only 29% of SSDI claims being awarded benefits at the initial application level in Maryland, those who receive a denial notice are forced to go through the appeals system in order to get the benefits they are entitled to. It’s worth going through the appeals process as the chances of your claim getting approved are the highest here. The process of appeals consists of 4 stages.
- Reconsideration: This first stage of the appeals process is very similar to the initial application stage except another disability examiner will examine your case. Since a similar process is followed the chances of getting your claim approved here are very slim unless you have new medical evidence that demonstrates you meet SSDI criteria. In Maryland the rate of approval is 13.7%.
- The Court Hearing: In the second phase of the appeals process your case will be presented before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). This offers you the best opportunity as an ALJ may allow you to bring in testimonies from your treatment physician and other medical and vocational experts. In Maryland, the approval rate at the disability hearing level is a good 60%.
- The Appeals Council: The Council will determine whether the decision made by the ALJ was fairly determined by looking at all the evidence once again. The Council can reverse the decision of the ALJ or send your case to another ALJ.
- Federal Review: This is the last recourse to appeal and not many are advised to take their case to this level as it is expensive and time-consuming.
Appeals must be filed within 60 days of the date of the denial notice. If your appeal fails to reach the SSA within 65 days you will be forced to start the application process all over again losing valuable time.
It would be prudent for you to get an advocate to represent you at the hearing stage. You don’t want to miss the best opportunity you have of winning your claim. As your advocates, Disability United will understand why your claim was denied in the first place and can bolster your case to clearly demonstrate that you meet the SSDI approval criteria.
To see if you qualify for SSDI benefits, fill out our free disability evaluation form today!
If you have a disability that is projected to last at least one year, and you are unable to work, don’t waste any more time. Fill the form on the right and let us help you get the benefits you deserve.
Helpful Resources for those with Disabilities in Maryland
If you’re not qualified for Social Security Disability Insurance or would like additional support, the Maryland State Administration offers several other programs to help people with different disabilities. Follow the links below to know more about these helpful programs:
- Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation: This website provides a wide range of resources for people with disabilities looking for assistance in job training or seeking jobs.
- The MEAP assistance program: This is a federally funded energy bill assistance program. You may be able to receive financial help in the form of a grant or credit on an account. Low-income homes that have a disabled family member, an elderly person or a young child are given priority.
- The Maryland Food Supplement Program: This federal program may help seniors, low-income workers, those who are disabled, and others put nutritious food on the table. Benefits are given every month through an electronic benefits card which can be used at authorized local food stores.