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5 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Disability Application

Social Security disability benefits can play a significant role in offering adequate aid for disabled individuals to continue a healthy life, and it can be essential for helping people manage their disabilities effectively. 

Individuals who suffer from disabling conditions can apply for a wide range of benefits, such as monthly compensation.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) receives hundreds and thousands of applications every month. However, most applications are rejected at the first stage. 

Avoiding Common Mistakes Can Increase Your Chance of Approval

The application procedure can be complicated and burdensome for a disabled individual to carry out alone, because of the considerable amount of paperwork and effort involved in the process. In addition, an applicant has to provide substantial medical documents and relevant reports signed by the doctors who provide their medical treatments. 

Because the program is tax-funded, the SSA abides by stringent rules and meticulously analyzes every claim to ensure that only eligible candidates receive assistance. Accordingly, when filing a claim, you should avoid making mistakes that could result in immediate rejection.

  1. Receiving unemployment aid

If you file a claim, you should make sure that you are not already receiving any benefits for being unemployed. This is because, in some situations, the SSA may not approve a disability claim if you are already receiving assistance.

  1. Still receiving a monthly salary from an employer

As per the SSA’s guidelines, a person who receives monthly remuneration from their employer will not be considered for the SSDI program. These benefits are only intended to provide aid to people who have lost their ability to work due to severe physical or mental illness or a critical injury resulting from an accident. 

  1. Providing insufficient information

The SSA rejects most claims at the initial stage because the applications are incomplete. An experienced attorney can help you efficiently complete the paperwork to prevent an unnecessary denial. 

  1. Forgetting to keep up with the application status

There is still more to do even after filing your claim. Be sure that you consistently check your application status so you are prepared to take the necessary steps for the appeal and hearing stage, if necessary. Even if the SSA denies your application at the first stage, you still have the opportunity to appeal.

  1. Failing to consider mental health

Physical injuries and illness may also severely affect a person’s mental health. It can be essential to take into account one’s mental conditions when applying for benefits. Mental impairments can be just as hard to cope with as physical impairments; the SSA takes them into account and can give compensation for these impairments, as well.

An experienced legal professional has the proper knowledge to carry out the necessary steps. They can do the hard work for you, from completing the application to checking the status of the application, in addition to organizing necessary evidence for appeal. 

Are you over 50 and suffering from severe medical issues? 

If your medical problems affect your ability to work and function properly, you may be eligible for benefits. The SSA considers various conditions to determine a person’s eligibility. 

A person can get benefits in two ways:

  • The first way to qualify for benefits is by meeting the eligibility condition listed in the Blue Book. If your medical condition is listed in the Blue Book, you may receive benefits based on those criteria. However, if your disability is not explicitly mentioned, you may be able to get benefits based on a medical-vocational allowance.
  • The second category, medical-vocational allowance, relies on how much work you can perform despite your disability. If your condition is severe and you do not have transferable skills that you can use for another job, you may be approved. Again, it relies on disability rules after age 50 to determine whether you will qualify.

Qualifying for Benefits

Applying after 50 may be easier. You may get approved for disability benefits if your condition is severe. However, many medical conditions are common at this age, and an applicant should consider the grid rules.

If your medical condition is severe and hinders your ability to work, you may be considered permanently disabled. In this case, you may qualify. However, if you do not meet the eligibility criteria, you may get approved under the special grid rule assessment for individuals above 50.

Grid Rules to Know About

If you are an older adult, the SSA’s special grid rules assessment may apply to you. The SSA has particular guidelines for people over 50, called grid rules. If your medical condition is not listed, you may get approval based on the rules.

The SSA will consider various factors, such as your education, skills, and previous employment to determine your eligibility. These factors play a significant role in determining your eligibility. If you do not meet these criteria, you will not be deemed eligible for disability benefits. 

The following are the factors that are included in the grid rules:

  • Residual functional capacity (RFC): RFC evaluates the strength-related work that an individual can perform. It may include walking, standing, lifting, and pushing. If an individual has a high RFC, they may not qualify for benefits.
  • Educational qualifications: How much education you possess may also affect your ability to collect disability benefits. If you are highly educated or possess unique skills, there is a chance you may not qualify. 
  • Transferability of skills: If you have easily transferable skills that can be used in other types of jobs, your application for benefits may be denied.
  • Previous job experience: The kind of work that you were performing before you became disabled will also have an impact on determining your eligibility. If you have minimal experience and skills, you may have a greater chance of getting approved.

You can consider getting in touch with an experienced Social Security disability attorney to learn more about the eligibility criteria and to determine whether you may qualify for benefits.