The Social Security Administration (SSA) has numerous guidelines and criteria that must be met when applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefit compensation. All too often, many applicants do not read over their application paperwork carefully, do not follow the proper process for verifying their medical condition, fail to provide adequate medical documentation. or miss mistakes they have made on the application that disqualify them for benefits. In order to ensure that your application is more likely to be approved the first time, here are the 5 most common mistakes applicants should avoid when applying for SSDI benefits.
#1 Mistake: Filing for Disability While Still Employed
There isn’t a rule on the book that forbids you from applying for SSDI while you are still on the job, but it definitely will not improve your chances of approval if you decide to do so. Your purpose for applying for SSDI is because you are unable to perform any substantial gainful work in order to support yourself. Earning income while applying for SSDI essentially invalidates your claim that you can’t work because you are in fact working. This reduces the statistical likelihood of your being approved to near zero.
#2 Mistake: Applying for SSDI Too Soon
Qualifying for SSDI depends upon your disabling condition being projected to last for at least a year or longer. Applying for benefits without an established treatment history and documentation of being medically unfit to work makes it exceptionally difficult to prove that you are in fact suffering from a long term or permanently disabling condition. Many Social Security Examiners who find your history is less than a year may assume that your condition may improve with treatment before you can qualify for SSDI. You should only apply for benefits after it has been established via diagnosis and prognosis by a physician that your condition will last for a year or more.
#3 Mistake: Believing the Consultative Exam Provides All Necessary Proof
In order to prove that you are in fact disabled, you need a sufficient medical history of clinical diagnosis and treatment in order to qualify or be approved. The initial consultative exam required by the SSA will not provide sufficient medical evidence.
#4 Mistake: Not Following Doctor’s Prescribed Treatments
Some applicants refuse treatment because they believe it will affect the severity of their condition when applying for benefits. One of the first things a Social Security examiner will verify is your treatment history for your disabling condition and your response to treatment. If you are not following the recommended treatment plan as written by your doctor, your application can be denied. Be smart, and follow your doctor’s treatment plan.
#5 Mistake: Trying to Appeal an SSA Decision Without Legal Representation
Hire a disability attorney if you are going to appeal your denied application. Attorneys who specialize in disability law and SSA policy and processes significantly improves your chances of having a decision changed during the appeals process. Trying to assemble an appeal on your own with little or no knowledge of how the SSA appeals process works is a recipe for disaster.
If you are a DC or Baltimore resident in need of representation for an SSA decision hearing, consider contacting the law offices of Fred S. London, P.C.. He and his trained staff will set you up with a consultation to review your case and determine how to best approach your appeal. Contact Fred S. London’s offices today for more details