Filing a claim for Social Security benefits for disability can be a difficult task. You must ensure that all necessary documentation is completed and that all papers submitted are filed correctly and on time. Often delays and rejections occur with SSD benefits claims as a result of errors committed during the filing stage.
Engaging an attorney will not only prevent you from committing financial mistakes related to SSD benefits but will considerably improve your odds of receiving the full range of benefits you are entitled to. Furthermore, by handling the filing procedure and conducting appeals if an initial claim is refused, an attorney may relieve you of some of the obligations and enable you to focus on your healthcare.
Frequent errors before filing the claim
Not doing your research
Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims entails far more than just completing and submitting forms. Do your homework if you want to lower your risk of earning benefits. Discover what sorts of advantages are obtainable, and the requirements for eligibility, and be prepared before applying.
Failing to take prescribed medications
The Social Security Administration (SSA) examines the authenticity of your request in part by examining if you sought treatment for your ailment and followed your doctor’s recommendations. If you do not take prescriptions as directed, the SSA may determine that your disability is not as serious and restrict your claim. There are some acceptable reasons for not taking prescribed treatment, like being unable to pay for it or facing after-effects from the drugs that are more serious than the conditions being cured.
Not receiving continuous and regular medical care
Though you may be unable to work, the mere assurance you give will not suffice to secure the disability benefits. You must show solid medical evidence confirming that your medical condition makes it hard to do a job, which is only achievable if you have received consistent and systematic treatment for your medical condition.
Top Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for Social Security Disability
It’s no wonder that filing for Social Security Disability is a complex and tedious process. The application process for disability benefits is basically complicated with periodic delays. Prevent making the following ten blunders when seeking for disability benefits to improve your chances of a successful outcome and avoid damaging your claim.
1. Applying for unemployment benefits
Filing unemployment benefits means that the person has no physical issues preventing him/her to work, but is currently jobless. This picture refutes what you would state in an application for SSD and violates the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) eligibility criteria. Nevertheless, in certain instances, a disability can be related to work. If you are in this scenario, you may be qualified for both workers’ compensation and SSD benefits. If you are finally authorized to receive both the perks, your SSD benefits are likely to be scaled back. With an attorney to assist, you can obtain workers’ compensation and disability benefits.
2. Working significantly when filing for disability
If you make over $1,040 monthly, which is deemed substantial gainful activity (SGA), you must either give up your job or do lesser work to qualify for receiving the benefits. This is applicable irrespective of having a proven health condition that has forced you to go from full-time to part-time employment and earn significantly meager than you did previously. Even if you earn below the SGA amount, the SSA will consider your ability to work for a considerable length of time.
3. Providing an inappropriate medical record
To meet the requirements for SSD benefits, your medical records must indicate that your illness matches the disability definition stated by the SSA. In other words, your medical documents must verify that your ailment has remained or is projected to persist for at least 12 months or will lead to death. You must also be able to establish that your disability precludes you from performing the job you formerly did and also from doing any other employment.
You should see your doctor right away if you got impaired or unwell in order to create a medical file that establishes your eligibility for the benefits. You must be clear with your doctor about your constraints. An attorney can collaborate with your doctor to complete a residual functional capacity (RFC) statement, which can contribute substantially to a benefits application.
4. Hyperbolizing your disability
Even though you should not minimize the effect of your impairment or downplay its symptoms and effects, you should also avoid making your case appear worse than the reality. Examiners for Social Security Disability will test results for discrepancies in the provided information and the conclusions of your doctor. The right approach is to remain transparent.
5. Being vague about your work history
Disability assessments are not solely dependent on your medical documents, but also on your work history, which must describe in detail the requirements of your former jobs. Claims evaluators will carefully review your employment record to evaluate if you would be able to get back to your old position or if your condition would prohibit you from accomplishing.
6. Waiting too long to apply for disability benefits
When they realize they can no longer work, many people make the error of forgetting to claim benefits. This is reasonable in certain ways. It might be difficult to admit you could not work any longer. Nonetheless, neglecting to act quickly will not assist your case. You should keep in mind that if you do not file for benefits as quickly as possible, you may risk losing your right to receive retroactive compensation. The best course of action is to apply as quickly as possible. It is probable that your application will take many months to be processed.
7. Waiting too long to appeal a claim denial
Another typical misconception made by claimants is believing that if their application for a claim is denied, there is nothing they can do. This, meanwhile, is not the truth. If your application is refused, you have 2 months to file a Reconsideration Request. If you are refused again, there are other stages of appeal available, including appearing before an administrative tribunal with an attorney on your side.
8. Failure to regularly check the status of your claim
We are all aware that processing Social Security Disability claims takes a long time. Many individuals are unaware that claims are frequently held up indefinitely due to clerical or filing faults that prevent them from landing up at the concerned authority’s desk in the first case. Failure to inquire about the progress of your claim on a regular basis might lose you time and compensation funds.
Every year, the SSA processes bundles of disability claims. Claimants would have to be patient for several months before getting a response. The easiest method to ensure that your claim has been dealt with properly may be to inquire about its progress on a frequent basis. It will be helpful to contact your local Social Security office to ask the claims examiner about inquiries.
9. Seeking to handle a claim without legal assistance
Though this is not legally required to get an attorney to defend you, many people try to seek the SSD benefits on their own without consulting a law firm. But it will get refused due to a key mistake. If your application is rejected, you should contact a Social Security Disability attorney to represent you during the process of appealing.
A legal team can verify that all of your medical documents are in order, that your case complies with all SSA laws, and that you are requesting the maximum amount of advantages you are eligible to get. Many lawyers operate on a contingency basis, which means they only get paid if they win your case, making it a win-win deal and in turn saving your money.
10. Failure to meet the appeals deadline
If your SSDI claim got denied don’t worry, as you still have 2 months from the date you get your denial notice to file an appeal. If you do not seek an appeal by this timeframe, you will have to restart the procedure and make a new claim.
Application for Social Security Disability Benefits
For those suffering from disabilities, the Social Security Administration offers two separate programs. Just as the requirements for two programs, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), varied, so do the methods for applying for each benefit.
How to Apply for SSDI
There are several methods to apply for SSDI benefits. To begin, you may start online. You can initially save the application to edit and update it before sending it. You can also file by dialing the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 and connecting with a representative. When you prefer to show up in person, you may schedule an appointment at your nearest SSA office. When you apply, you must have your medical proof and paperwork to back your claim. Generally speaking, claims are first refused because of a lack of medical proof, so examine the Blue Book to ensure you have all of the necessary medical documents.
How to Apply for SSI
Despite SSDI, you must apply for SSI in person. This entails going to your closest SSA office. Before applying, you must schedule an appointment. You’ll have to present medical documentation to back your claim, similar to what you would do for SSDI. Gather the necessary medical reports using the Blue Book as a reference. You’ll also have to give evidence that your income is under the limits.
When to Apply for Disability Benefits
You should indeed report to the Social Security Administration (SSA) your intention to apply as soon as you become informed of a possibly disabling condition. This creates a protective filing date, that can be used to calculate the compensation you are eligible for if your claim is ultimately granted.
What does the SSA look for in a claim?
When you file for disability benefits, you start a procedure that can be tough to navigate if you don’t already have all that is required to build a strong case. The SSA has set certain criteria for assessing what comprises and does not include total disability, and it does not usually coincide with the criteria used by you, your boss, Worker’s Compensation, health insurers, or even your medical practitioner. When deciding to grant your disability claim, the SSA considers how prolonged your condition is projected to remain. To be eligible for benefits, your particular condition must have persisted or be likely to continue for a minimum one-year time period.
Seek advice from a Social Security Lawyer
Get a free consultation from an attorney before submitting your disability claim. An attorney can help to provide you with a free evaluation of your case and tell you if you have a valid claim. Expert disability attorneys understand the intricacies of the system underlying the Social Security disability system and will be more familiar with it than anyone else. He/she will inform you what you really need for the claim to be granted and the expected time period you should wait to submit it for the best odds of success.
Another factor why waiting to submit your claim is generally preferable is that the medical data will be more finished. Claimants frequently commit the error of believing that if their practitioner says they are physically disabled and therefore should cease to work, the SSA will immediately agree.
What are the next steps?
It normally takes three to six months after you make your claim for an SSA adjudicator to even look at it. If your claim is rejected (as it almost always is, particularly if it is lodged too soon before appropriate supporting material can be acquired), you will have to wait for weeks or months for each stage of the appeals procedure.
Clearly, it is far preferable to get all of the information of your claim straight from the start. Before you file your claim, take it and your medical evidence to a Social Security disability lawyer. Your disability lawyer will go through everything with you and advise you if your claim is likely to be granted as is or whether you should wait. He will also be able to advise you on what kind of medical paperwork you will need to obtain prior to making your claim in order to have the best chance of receiving fast authorization.
The application procedure for Social Security Disability payments might be time-consuming and confusing, but don’t lose up. You can achieve the full advantages you are entitled to with good counsel and legal representation.