Initial claims filed for disability benefits come back denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in a majority of cases. Reasons for the denial of Social Security disability (SSD) benefits include lack of documentation, weak physical evidence, and failure to complete the application correctly. Improving your chances of getting approved for SSD benefits involves following seven tips for first-time SSD applicants.
Tip #1: Apply Right Away
Although a disability must keep you out of work for 12 consecutive months for you to qualify for SSD benefits, you should apply for financial assistance as quickly as possible after you receive a disability diagnosis. The SSA handles a large number of claims each year, which means processing the high volume of claims takes a considerable amount of time. Waiting 12 months to determine your eligibility for disability benefits extends the time you live without financial assistance.
Tip #2: Submit Persuasive Medical Evidence
A team of medical examiners from the SSA review medical documents to determine whether an applicant qualifies for disability benefits. The results of diagnostic tests can confirm whether you suffer from a disability. Medical documentation must meet the standards of eligibility as defined by the SSA medical guide called the Blue Book.
Tip #3: Refer to the SSA Adult Disability Checklist
The SSA Adult Disability Checklist presents a list of actions you need to take that qualify you for SSD benefits. Follow every step listed on the checklist before filing a claim for Social Security disability benefits.
Tip #4: Continue Receiving Medical Care
Living with a disability often requires medical services that go well beyond the initial treatments. You might undergo several physical therapy sessions or start a new treatment regimen that does a better job of mitigating your symptoms. SSD applicants have the right to ask for compensation that covers the costs associated with estimated future medical expenses.
Tip #5: Accumulate Enough Work Credits
Another criterion you must meet to receive disability benefits is to accumulate the minimum number of work credits required by the SSA. You earn work credits by paying Social Security taxes based on your income. During 2022, you earn one work credit for every $1,510 generated in earnings.
Tip #6: File an Appeal If Necessary
Since the SSA denies a majority of SSD claims, you should understand the appeals process. The first step involves filing an appeal for reconsideration, which means you go through the same process that you went through when filing the original claim. If the SSA denies your appeal for reconsideration, you and your attorney ask for a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
Tip #7: Receive Legal Support from a Social Security Disability Attorney
A Social Security disability lawyer provides several different types of legal support. An SSD attorney helps you collect and organize the medical documents to meet the standards established by the SSA to qualify for SSD benefits. Your legal counsel ensures you file your claim as quickly as possible after a devastating injury or illness has impaired you physically and/or mentally.
Schedule a free case evaluation today to file the most persuasive SSD benefits claim.