The Social Security Disability application process can be a long and intimidating one. The fact of the matter is that only 30 percent of Social Security Disability claims are approved at the initial stage of the application process. If you want to increase your chances of being awarded Social Security Disability benefits, there are certain mistakes that you want to avoid. These are the top eight mistakes people make when applying for Social Security Disability. Make sure you familiarize yourself with them so you can avoid making these mistakes during your own application process.
Mistake #1: Not Knowing What to Expect
The first mistake people make when applying for Social Security Disability benefits is not researching how the process works or what to expect when applying for Social Security Disability. It is important to understand the application process. Understand what records you need and what constitutes a proof of disability. You need to know what it takes to file a successful application, and that means understanding what information the Social Security Administration needs in order to provide you with an approval for Social Security Disability benefits.
Mistake #2: Not Taking Medication When Filing a Disability Claim
When applying for Social Security Disability it is crucial that you take your medications as prescribed. If you are not taking the medications that are prescribed to you by your doctor then it will be very hard for an examiner to determine whether or not your condition is actually severe enough to warrant Social Security Disability benefits.
Mistake #3: Missing the Disability Appeal Deadline
You have 60 days from the date of your decision letter to file an appeal with the Social Security office. If you do not file an appeal within that time frame, you give up your rights to the appeal process, and you will have to start the Social Security Disability application process all over again.
Mistake #4: Filing a New Disability Application
It is very important to file an appeal within 60 days of your letter of decision if you are denied your initial request for Social Security Disability benefits. Many people make the mistake of filing a new disability claim rather than appealing the original one. Your chances of successfully obtaining Social Security Disability benefits are much greater if you go through the appeals process rather than just starting over from scratch with a brand new application.
Mistake #5: Not Hiring Representation When Needed
You don't need an attorney to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, but if you are denied your initial claim and you need to stand before an Administrative Law Judge, you will want to have an attorney representing you. Your chances of winning an appeal at this stage of the process are increased if you have a lawyer representing your interests and walking you through the necessary steps for a successful appeal.
Mistake #6: Failing to Go to Your Medical Evaluation
If the Social Security Administration requests that you go for a medical evaluation, it is very important that you keep the appointment that is set for you. The Social Security Administration will pay for this examination, so you do not need to worry about the expense of the visit. The exam should not take much time and not showing up for your appointment can result in a denied disability claim.
Mistake #7: Waiting Too Long to Apply
You need to apply for Social Security Disability as soon as you stop working and know that you are disabled. There is a statute of limitations (usually five years) for Social Security Disability benefits, so if you stopped working and didn't apply for six or seven years after your last date of work due to raising children or because you felt you didn't need the income, then you may not qualify to receive Social Security Disability benefits when the need arises. Because of this, it is important to apply for Social Security Disability benefits as soon as you are unable to work due to your disabling condition.
Mistake #8: Not Consulting Your Doctor
The Social Security Administration is more likely to approve your disability claim if your doctor provides a well-written statement, such as a Medical Source Statement, explaining how your disability prevents you from being able to work. Make sure you communicate with your doctor about how your disability prevents you from working and ask them if they are willing to help support your Social Security Disability claim.
Everyone wants their application for Social Security Disability to go as smoothly as possible. If you want minimal trouble with your claim, make sure you avoid the eight mistakes discussed above. Doing so will help you get the best possible results from your Social Security Disability application.