Traps to Watch Out for With Social Security Disability Claims

social security disability traps

Applying for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits can be a necessary yet challenging process. Whether you’re suffering from a physical or mental condition, if you will be disabled for at least one year and cannot sustain enough work to support yourself on your own, you may need Social Security disability benefits in order to continue living (at least somewhat) independently.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a strict definition of what constitutes a disability, and the SSA Blue Book clearly defines what conditions are considered for disability and what criteria a person must meet in order to have their application approved.

While this can be a frustrating process from gathering all of the necessary information to making sure everything on your application is accurate and ensuring that you haven’t made any mistakes, there are certain traps you can fall into that will slow down the process or get your claim denied. Here are a few:

Thinking You Only Need a Medical Opinion to Receive SSD Benefits

Just because a doctor declares you disabled, doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you’ll be approved for Social Security disability. A physician’s opinion can be very beneficial for helping your Social Security disability case, but it needs to be supported by medical evidence such as tests, lab results, and documentation. A medical professional simply stating their thoughts isn’t enough to get your application approved.

Believing That the System Will Take Care of You

While it’s good to believe in the system and the SSA, the organization receives numerous applications, so you need to stay on top of your application. You can’t simply rely on the system to tell you what you need to know when you need to know it. Instead, it’s important to check your claim status to ensure that it doesn’t slip through the cracks. Also, if you do get denied, you only have so many days to file an appeal before you have to start the whole process over again.

Thinking You Have to Wait a Full Year Before Applying

You can apply for Social Security disability benefits as soon as you become disabled – on the same day even. You just have to be disabled for at least one year in order to be approved, so that’s where the 365 days figures in. It’s actually better to apply sooner rather than later so you don’t miss out on benefits.

Thinking That Your Application is Different Than Others That Were Denied

The truth is that more than 70 percent of Social Security disability applications are initially denied, and an additional 30 to 40 percent are denied after a hearing. Sometimes gaining an approval is a long and drawn-out process, but you are not being singled out. To the SSA, your claim is just like any other, and the examiners judging your application have no emotional connections to you or anyone else. If your application was denied, there was something wrong with it, so you need to figure out what that was and correct it.

Not Seeking Help From a Social Security Disability Advocate

It may be in the best interest of individuals applying for Social Security disability benefits to get a lawyer who specializes in these types of cases. Some people may not think they can afford an attorney, but many advocates work on contingency. This means that your lawyer only gets paid if you get an approval. Additionally, Social Security disability lawyers can only charge you an amount approved by the SSA. These types of Social Security attorneys are well-versed in the intricate details of Social Security disability and what is needed to get an approval. So, it’s beneficial to work with a lawyer from the start.

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