We do not request reimbursement of costs
(such as repayment for obtaining medical records)
from veterans nor from people who suffer from multiple sclerosis.

5 Common Mistakes People Make When Filing for Disability Benefits

Filing for disability benefits can be daunting for anyone, with many potential roadblocks that can get in your way. Dealing with the Social Security Administration (SSA) can be a complicated process and people often make the same mistakes that can delay the process or, even worse, cause your social security disability file to be denied. 

However, there is no need to fear the social security disability application process. These mistakes are identifiable and can be avoided when you know what to look for. 

Social Security Disability Mistakes

Lack of Medical Evidence

One of the common problems with social security disability applications that people encounter is failing to provide enough medical evidence to meet the requirements of the social security administration. The social security administration wants to see evidence that you truly have a disability that is preventing you from working. 

Medical evidence that is timely, accurate, and sufficient is what the social security administration wants to see to approve an application.  For information to be considered timely, it must be recent enough to be relevant to your medical condition and show that you still have a disability. Generally, the Social Security Administration likes to have information that is no older than six months old.

Additionally, you will need to have medical information that is accurate. Basically, this means that the information from your doctor must correspond to the condition that you are claiming a disability for.

Finally, the medical evidence must be sufficient to demonstrate that your condition exists and is preventing you from working. A doctor’s note will not be enough, the SSA will want things like X-Rays or biopsy results.

Misunderstanding Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility for social security disability can be quite complicated and easy to misunderstand. To be eligible for social security disability, a person must be considered disabled under Social Security Act.

To considered disabled, you must not be able to work due to a severe medical condition that has lasted, or is expected to last, longer than a year or is expected to result in death. The disability must prevent the person from doing the work they did in the past and prevent them from adjusting to other work. 

You must also meet the work eligibility requirements to be eligible for disability. This generally means you must have 40 work credits with 20 coming in the last ten years. Understandably, this all can get complicated so be sure to do your research to determine if you meet all of the requirements. You may also not be able to determine your eligibility on your own and want to enlist some help. A Disability Lawyer can help review your case and determine if you are eligible for disability benefits.

Incomplete or Inaccurate Application

Another common mistake made by people filing for disability benefits is submitting an incomplete or inaccurate application.  The application is long and complicated and requires you to furnish a larger amount of documentation. This documentation includes proof of citizenship, medical evidence, military service documentation, and work and pay related information among other things. 

The SSA can be very strict when reviewing applications, so you want to be sure your application is accurate and complete. If not, it can result in delays in which you have to go back and forth with the SSA to remedy the application or can result in an all-out denial of your application. It can also lead to you receiving reduced benefits because the SSA underestimates your disability or work history due to the information in your application. To avoid submitting an incomplete or inaccurate application, you might want to consider enlisting the help of a social security disability attorney. 

Failing to Appeal a Denial

When a social security disability application is denied, many people just decide to live with the decision. This is a mistake; you do have the option to appeal the SSA’s decision. When your application is denied, you have 60 days from the date of denial to file what is known as a request for reconsideration. This can be done online and roughly 10-15% of people who have their application reconsidered, have their denials reversed. 

Additionally, you also have the option to appeal to an administrative law judge if your request for reconsideration is denied. At this level, almost half of denials are overturned. There are other options as well if your appeal is denied by the administrative law judge such as appealing to the SSA’s appeal council or filing a claim in federal court. At any level, the assistance of an attorney in handling an appeal can prove to be essential.

Ignoring Legal Assistance

Finally, one of the most common mistakes a person can make when dealing with a disability claim is ignoring legal assistance. Lawyers who handle social security disability cases know what they are doing, they gathered experience through their practice and know how the SSA operates.

A disability lawyer will be able to evaluate your claim, go through the eligibility requirements with you, and determine if you meet the eligibility requirements. They can make sure that your application is filled out in an accurate and complete manner and that all of the required documentation is attached including the all-important medical information.

A disability lawyer will also be able to help you through the appeals process from filing a request for reconsideration to the judicial appellate routes. An attorney will be particularly important for appeals because they know how the SSA appeals process works and the procedures and evidentiary requirements of the respective courts.

Hire A Disability Lawyer to Help You Win Disability Benefits

If you want to avoid social security disability mistakes, hiring a New Jersey disability lawyer is the best thing you can do. A disability lawyer is well versed in the common mistakes that people often make when filing for disability and will help you navigate around these obstacles. 

From helping you complete your application to guiding you through the appeals process, a disability lawyer is here to help. And if your application for disability benefits has already been denied, a qualified disability lawyer can assist you with the appeals process. They can file an appeal for you and represent you in front of the administrative law judge and help you win your disability benefits. 

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