As Social Security Disability attorneys, we’ve seen many applications for disability succeed – and many more get denied. While even valid applications often get rejected on the first try, we know how to present the strongest possible case to the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Here are our top five mistakes to avoid when applying for Social Security Disability benefits:
- Trying to do it alone – This is the single most important advice we can give to anyone seeking Social Security Disability benefits. Working with a knowledgeable representative who is experienced in the process can help you avoid other mistakes and maximize your chances of getting benefits as soon as possible.
- Ignoring the impact of current work activity, or collecting unemployment benefits – While it is not illegal to apply for SSDI while you are working or collecting unemployment benefits, it can affect your claim. The person making the determination may take it as a sign of your ability to work. Your lawyer can provide more guidance about maximizing your chances of a favorable disability determination.
- Downplaying or overplaying the impact of your disability – Some people undersell the extent of their disability out of pride, or because they don’t want the SSA to think they’re exaggerating. On the other end of the spectrum, others exaggerate the effect their disability has on their lives. These are both problematic; being concise, honest and thorough is the best way to improve your chances of getting benefits.
- Missing documentation – The SSA has a reputation for losing paperwork, but that doesn’t mean they accept when claimants do the same thing. A complete, thorough application is essential. Be exacting in your application by including a complete work history and full medical records. New rules allow a limited time to send in medical evidence before a hearing date under most circumstances, so it is critical to make sure medical records are sent in as quickly as possible.
- Giving up – The majority of SSDI applicants will have their initial application denied. This does not mean that your disability is invalid or your claim is weak – it’s just a fact of life. A rejection is not a reason to give up. In fact, giving up and reapplying later can set back the clock on your benefits and prevent you from collecting all the benefits you are entitled to. If your application for disability has been denied, call your lawyer to discuss an appeal.
Who Can Help You Avoid SSDI Mistakes? An Experienced Attorney.
At The Klein Law Group, P.C., we can help you develop a strong application that makes the SSA take you seriously. To learn more and schedule a free initial consultation, please contact us at 917-639-5350 or 877-390-8732 toll free.