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Qualifying SSD benefits for injury undergoes change

When a person in Newark applies for Social Security disability benefits for injuries, they often rely on reports by their doctors documenting their medical condition. After all, the doctors who were treating them may have the best understanding of the person's injury, and can give a perspective on the person's health from a professional standpoint. However, there has recently been a change in regulations that affects how these reports will be used when determining whether or not to award a person SSD benefits.

Under new regulations by the Social Security Administration, the "treating-physician rule" will no longer receive the weight it used to when deciding whether or not to approve a person's application for disability benefits. Under the "treating-physician rule," adjudicators were required to especially take into account reports from a person's physician in support of the person's application for disability benefits.

According to the SSA, the change in regulations was meant to better keep in line with "modern health care delivery." The number of individuals currently receiving SSD benefits has gone down for the first time in almost three decades. The number of applications for benefits that have been approved has also declined. As of right now, approximately 8.8 million individuals receive SSD benefits. This represents the lowest number of people receiving disability benefits in five years.

Those against the change believe it will make it more difficult for individuals to be approved for disability benefits. However, others maintain that the effect the rule will have on the approval of applications going forward remains to be seen.

In the end, no one who suffers from a disabling injury wants to see their application for SSD benefits rejected. Most people applying for SSD benefits may find that their inability to be gainfully employed has a significant effect on their ability to financially support themselves. Those with questions about how these new regulations or other federal requirements will affect them may want to seek legal advice.

Source: Fox 59, "New rules go into effect for Social Security disability claims," Nick McGill, March 27, 2017

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