"Everybody Gets Denied the First Time"
This is not true yet I hear it all the time. This phrase is probably repeated tens of thousands of times a year if not more by people applying for disability, doctors and other healthcare professionals and anyone who has heard anything at all about disability. Nationally about 1/3rd of people applying for disability get approved the first time.
The people to decide whether or not you get disability don't even work for the Social Security Administration. In Pennsylvania they work for the State Bureau of Disability Determination. They are called Disability Examiners and they work as a team along with doctors who either work for the State or are State subcontractors. They review your medical and other relevant records, review your responses to various questionnaires you completed and apply the complex area of disability law to the facts they have gathered to come up with a determination. They may also send you to one of their doctors to obtain further information.
You want to do everything possible to get approved the first time. If you are denied at the first stage it will be approximately 2 years until you have your appeal hearing in front of a judge and, if you win, get any money. When people contact me before they have even applied it increases their chances of a first step approval. I know what is and isn't important under the law. I know and understand the process so you're not just throwing a line out there hoping you get a bite. And I care and want you to get your benefits now not two years from now.
The next time someone says, "Everybody Gets Denied the First Time," wouldn't you like to be able to answer, "I didn't."