Social Security Application Mistakes
Over two million people apply for Social Security benefits annually, but up to 70% of those applications are rejected by the Social Security Administration. Some of the most common mistakes occur because people try too hard to gain their SSDI eligibility. Oftentimes, applicants do not follow the prescribed course of treatment in the hope that they will seem more “disabled” when the Social Security inspector pays a visit. This can cause an application to be rejected immediately.
Other common mistakes include:
- Applicant continues to collect unemployment insurance while he is waiting for his application – Although you can technically collect unemployment while also applying for disability insurance, the Administrative Law Judge that may later review your case can use your acceptance of unemployment benefits as a factor that you are able-bodied and willing to perform work. This may preclude you from having your claim accepted.
- Applicant maintains employment while applying for disability – You cannot make more than the limit for Substantial Gainful Employment and qualify to receive benefits. Therefore, you may have to quit your job in order to qualify to receive Social Security Disability.
- Not hiring a Social Security Disability lawyer – Many applicants mistakenly believe that they cannot afford a competent attorney and try to complete the complex application process themselves. However, many attorneys accept these types of cases on a contingency fee so that you only have to pay them when you win your case. If your claim is not successfully approved, you do not owe attorney’s hourly rates.
- Not seeking assistance from a healthcare professional when an applicant experiences medical or emotional problems – The basis of a Social Security Disability application is that a person has a severe condition that affects his everyday life. If you have not documented your condition properly, it may be difficult for you to prove the extent of your injury or illness.
- Not describing mental conditions on the Social Security Disability application – When you complete your application, it is imperative that you list all symptoms that you have so that the physician can make an informed evaluation of your condition based on the available information.
- Not taking prescribed medication or following the doctor’s treatment plan – You must be able to prove that your disability cannot be cured by following the doctor’s treatment. If you do not follow his orders, you are counteracting this presumption.
- Not changing doctors when one is uncooperative – Some physicians are too busy to take an individual approach with their patients. If your doctor does not seem to be concerned about your health or overlooks important symptoms, it may be time to switch physicians.
- Not following up with the application – A claim can take months and even years to complete. Along the way, papers can get lost, telephone numbers can change, notes can go missing and a variety of other human or technological problems can arise. Call in regularly to check the status of your case.
- Not appealing on time – You have strict deadlines to file an appeal. Not filing in time can bar you from having your appeal heard or your claim approved.
- Not preparing for an Administrative Law Judge hearing – This proceeding is very important and usually requires the assistance of an individual who is skilled in the litigation process.
- Applicant applying for disability benefits before being diagnosed with a disability or disabling condition
- Not having enough evidence to prove disability