One of the most frustrating and potentially damaging things that can happen when applying for disability benefits is that your initial claim for benefits is denied. Being denied means having to go through an appeals process and can delay benefits that you need to support yourself and your family.
There are a number of reasons why your application for disability benefits can be denied, but below are some common mistakes that can lead to a denial. By avoiding this mistakes at the outset, you can increase your chances of a smooth process.
Mistake #1: Collecting Unemployment Benefits
When you apply for and are granted unemployment benefits, you’re agreeing to loo for work and that you are able to accept a job if it’s offered to you. This can potentially hurt your claim that you’re unable to work enough to support yourself and your family.
Mistake #2: Working More Than SSA Allows
The Social Security Administration has set limits on the amount that you can work or earn when applying for disability benefits. This income limit is called substantial, gainful activity, or SGA. As of 2012, that income limit was $1.1010 for applicants who are not blind and $1,690 for blind applicants. While earning more than the SGA doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be denied, it can be trickier to qualify for benefits if you do.
Mistake #3: Not Having all of Your Paperwork in Order
There’s a lot of paperwork involved in filing a claim for disability benefits. There are a number of documents that the Social Security Administration requires and not having them can slow your application or even result in denial of a good case. be sure you know exactly what you need to provide and that you have it organized and easily accessible before you file your application.
Mistake #4: Not Seeing a Doctor for Your Disability
It is essential that you see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment of your illness or injury. The medical evidence of your inability to work is the most important aspect of your case. Even if you are uninsured or do not have a regular physician, you need proper treatment and the proper documentation that only a physician can provide.
Mistake #5: Not Following Up on Appeals and Requests
If the Social Security office asks you for more information or documentation, schedules an interview or appointment or hearing, you must be diligent in following up. Any missed appointment or failure to answer requests will be interpreted as a lack of need for benefits. If you don’t take your case seriously, neither will the SSA.
Yes, there is a lot involved in applying for disability benefits and seeing your case through to the conclusion, but that conclusion is more likely to be a good one if you stay organized, are attentive to what’s going on in your case and work to avoid these five most common mistakes.
If you’re worried about how to go about filing your application r think that you may have already made a mistake that can damage your case, you might want to talk to a disability lawyer. He or she can let you know where you stand and can put your mind at ease and help you to fix any problems.