If a disability has left you unable to work and provide for your family, you may be considering applying for Social Security Disability Insurance, also known as SSDI or SSD. The SSD program allows you to receive monthly payments from the Social Security fund that you have paid into throughout the course of your career. However, it can be challenging to get approved. Most people get denied the first time, and without guidance, you may make one of these common mistakes when applying.
Ready to start your SSDI application or begin the appeal process? Let the team at Baker & Baker help you. Call us at 850-433-0888 to schedule a consultation now.
Insufficient Medical Records
If you submit your application with minimal medical records, you can expect a denial of benefits letter. The SSA is busy, and they don’t have time to read between the lines or dig around for extra information, so if it’s not included in your file, they won’t use it to make their decision. Remember, you have to prove to them that your disability is severe enough to keep you out of the workforce. That means submitting as much medical documentation as you can.
Not Being Truthful About Your Disability
People make this mistake in both directions. While some overstate the severity of their disability and play it up, others downplay their disability and make it seem less serious than it truly is. Both can hurt your application and keep you from getting benefits.
If your claims aren’t backed up by your medical documentation or are out-of-line with what others with your diagnosis usually experience, the Social Security Administration may have concerns. For example, if the vast majority of people with your diagnosis can work with certain limitations in place but you claim to be unable to work at all, they will need significant documentation backing that up.
Others try to downplay their disability. This often comes from a sense of pride and not wanting to take benefits that they may not deserve. When you’re asked about what you can and cannot do without assistance, don’t gloss over the bad days, only reference your best days, or say you are capable of things you can no longer do. This could lead to your claim getting denied.
Skipping Medical Appointments or Ignoring Treatment Recommendations
The SSA will want evidence that you are doing everything you can to manage your disability. That means going to scheduled appointments, following recommended treatment protocols, and seeing the recommended specialists. If you make a habit of canceling or simply not showing up, change it.
Giving Up After a Denial
The Social Security Administration makes you go through a lot before they give you the benefits you deserve. In fact, the majority of applicants get denied the first time they apply. If you’re denied, that doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve Social Security Disability benefits. It often just means that you did not give them enough proof of your disability. Review the appeals process and deadlines, and then meet with an attorney. They can help you figure out where your application went wrong and how you can fix it.
Not Checking Your Work Credits
You need a set amount of work credits to qualify for SSDI. The amount depends on your age, but most people need at least 40 credits and 20 credits from the past ten years. If you don’t have the necessary credits, you cannot receive benefits.
Applying Without an Attorney
The SSDI application process is confusing and time-consuming, but it’s much easier with the assistance of an experienced disability attorney. The team at Baker & Baker knows what the SSA looks for in SSDI applications, and our goal is to help you create the strongest application possible. We know you need the benefits you have paid into, and we’re here to help you get there.
Discuss Your Case with the Team at Baker & Baker