Common Mistakes Made When Applying for Disability Benefits
Posted on behalf of Phillips Disability, P.C. on Feb 14, 2017 in SSD
If you are one of the two million people who will apply for disability benefits this year, chances are you may have received a denial. If you were denied benefits it may be because of a mistake on your application.
With up to 70 percent of applications denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA), it is important that your application is complete and accurate. It can be challenging fill out your application alone, but an experienced disability attorney can help make sure all elements of your application are completed correctly and on time.
Here are five common mistakes to avoid:
Applying for benefits before knowing your condition will last longer than 12 months – In order to qualify for disability benefits, your condition must be expected to last for at least 12 months. If you apply for disability benefits too quickly, it may be more challenging to prove you have a long-term disabling condition. Only complete an application after you have medical evidence that your disability will last for at least a year.
Completing a disability application while working – The purpose of disability benefits is to provide income for those who can no longer work because of a disabling condition. If you apply for benefits while working, you will likely be denied because it contradicts your claim that you cannot work. By applying for disability benefits, you are stating you need the benefits because you can no longer participate in gainful work.
Not undergoing prescribed medical treatments – If you do not follow the treatments and recommendations from your doctor, it will appear as though your condition is not as debilitating as you claim and that you do not need medical care. The SSA will evaluate your condition by looking to see what medications you are taking and what treatments have and have not worked in the past.
Thinking the consultative exam will be enough proof – You need medical evidence to back your claim. Assuming that your consultative exam mandated by the SSA will be sufficient to prove your disability is inaccurate. The findings of this exam are meant to support your medical evidence, not stand alone as the only medical proof of your disability.
Not obtaining legal representation – Although disability attorneys do not get paid unless you obtain a favorable outcome, many people think they cannot afford to hire an attorney. Hiring an experienced disability attorney could be the difference between winning or losing benefits. A skilled disability attorney can also appeal your claim if it is denied. Your chances of winning disability benefits are greater with legal representation.
If you have applied for disability benefits and were denied or if you need help filing for benefits the first time, contact the disability advocates at Phillips Disability today. We will review your claim for free and guide you through the disability process.