It’s no secret that applying for Social Security Disability can be a stressful and challenging endeavor. The application process is complex to navigate, and delays are pretty common. To increase your chances of achieving a favorable outcome and avoid jeopardizing your claim, there are several common mistakes you should steer clear of. In today’s blog, we will be going over the top 5 mistakes applicants make when applying for disability.
1. Not Doing Your Homework
A lot more goes into applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits than filling out paperwork. If you want to increase your chances of receiving benefits, you’ll have to do your homework. Determine what types of benefits are available for you, learn the criteria for qualifying, and get organized before starting the application process. Creating an online account with the Social Security Administration can help outline what benefits you may be eligible for and even provide an estimated benefit amount.
2. Not Regularly Checking the Status of your Claim
A common mistake applicants make when applying for disability insurance is not checking the status of their claim regularly. It’ll significantly speed up the process and allow you to catch mistakes along the way. Oftentimes, Social Security offices lose paperwork or fail to notify applicants that their claim has been denied. You have 60 days from the date you receive your notice of denial to request an appeal. If you fail to do so within that time limit, you will have to start the process from scratch and file a new claim. That’s why you should frequently call your Social Security office to speak with your claims examiners and get updates regarding your case, or periodically check your online account for any news.
3. Collecting Unemployment Benefits
When you file for Social Security Disability benefits, you are basically stating that you have been or will be unable to perform substantial work activity for a time period of at least 12 months due to a mental or physical impairment. However, when you file for unemployment benefits, you’re stating that you are ready and available to work and seeking employment. As you can see, they both contradict each other. That’s why it’s recommended not to apply for unemployment benefits when applying for SSDI. Doing so will greatly increase the chances of your claim being denied.
4. Not Taking Your Prescribed Medication
One of the prime ways the Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluates your claim’s credibility is by checking to see if you’ve sought treatment and complied with your doctor’s recommended medication/treatment. If you fail to take your medicine as prescribed, the SSA will use that mistake to conclude that your condition is not as limiting and severe as you claim it to be. However, there are several acceptable reasons for not following prescribed treatment, such as experiencing side effects that are worse than the symptoms treated or not being able to afford it.
5. Exaggerating Your Disability
Another major mistake applicants make when applying for Social Security Disability is making their condition appear worse than it really is. Social Security examiners are looking for inconsistencies in the information you provide all day long. If they find one that conflicts with your doctor’s finding, your claim will be immediately denied. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to SSD.
Obtaining social security benefits is not a simple mission. It requires extensive knowledge and preparation. An attorney has the training, experience, and background to help increase the chances of successfully obtaining your benefits. At Bonnici Law Group, helping our clients get their SSD benefits is our top priority. Let’s work together to ensure that you get the maximum benefits you deserve! Give us a call at (619) 259-5199, or click here for a free consultation!