Top 5 Social Security Disability Application Mistakes

Authored by Wendy Witt, Esq.

Why You Should Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer as Soon as Possible?

If you've never done something before, it's normal to make mistakes as you find your way through the process. This is certainly true of those who are too injured or too ill to work and apply for Social Security Disability. The process is long and arduous.

In this article we'll identify the top 5 Social Security Disability application mistakes and show you how to avoid them.

  1. Your Application Doesn't Tell the Entire Story

    • You need to detail what your life is like and how your illness or injury affects your day-to-day ability to function.
    • In addition, your medical records need to include not just a diagnosis, but specifics on what you can and cannot do in the workplace.

    WARNING: Do not let embarrassment stop you from disclosing information. It's imperative that you include the nitty-gritty details of your health and your life - even if you feel that they are potentially embarrassing. Be sure to include all mental health related conditions in addition to any physical disabilities.

  2. You Don't Supply Requested Information

    Some applicant's don't understand the seriousness of the application. All requested information such as doctors' names and contact information, work history, and physical and/or mental limitations must be included legibly and with correct spelling.

    • Remember to include ALL of your doctors, including specialists as well as your primary care physician.
    • If in doubt as to whether to include information or not, err on the side of disclosure.
    • If the Social Security Administration requests information, provide it immediately.

    WARNING: If you are injured or ill, see a medical doctor who supports your application for disability benefits. Don't forgo seeing a doctor and don't continue to see a doctor who doesn't support you.

  3. You Must Appeal If Your Claim is Denied

    It's totally normal to have your disability application denied at both the initial application and reconsideration (aka "reconsideration") process.

    • You must take action to appeal; it is a not an automatic process.
    • You must appeal within a 60-day window.

    If you appeal too late or don't appeal at all, your application will be "dead in the water" and you'll have to start the entire application process all over again.

    WARNING: Check on the status of your case regularly. Insiders at the SSA admit that the SSA has lost files and if you don't appeal in a timely manner, you'll have to start over - even if you never got notice of the denial of your claim.

  4. You Don't Realize How Disabled You Are

    Of course, you know your life and your abilities best, but, often, those who live with an illness or injury become customized to a new normal.

    • An outsider may look at your situation and say, "Holy Moly, you are truly disabled" because of this, that, and the other thing.
    • While you begin to think maybe you're not that disabled because you have adapted and can do X, Y, and Z.

    WARNING: Do not suffer through working during the application process. If you can work and earn over a certain amount, you are not disabled no matter what your medical records indicate, according to the Social Security Administration.

    WARNING: Do not collect unemployment insurance during the application process.To receive unemployment insurance, you must state that you are actively looking for work. If you are actively looking for work, the SSA will deem you to be healthy enough to work.

  5. You Try to Save Money by Not Hiring a Social Security Disability Lawyer

    SSD attorneys know what to expect, what information to provide, how to document claims, and how to navigate the SSD system. While you are not legally required to be represented by legal counsel, it's likely a good idea - and - you have absolutely nothing to lose.

    • If your case is not approved for benefits, you pay your Social Security Disability attorney absolutely nothing.
    • If your case is approved and you get disability benefits, you only pay your SSD lawyer only 25% of back benefits up to a $6,000 limit. The other 75% is yours.
    • You never pay your attorney anything for all the future benefits you receive, including monthly payments until you attain the age of 65 and Medicare health insurance.

Best of luck with your Social Security Disability application (and likely appeals). Be sure to review these 5 SSD application mistakes from time to time to make sure your application stays on track.

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