Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can be a complex and annoying process for how complicated it might turn. SSDI is intended to help those who are unable to work due to disabilities, providing financial support and access to essential benefits.
The application process is riddled with potential pitfalls that can lead to delays or denials, and here’s a quick guide with a few things that you better avoid saying when you’re trying to get the approval for SSDI benefits.
Avoid these classic errors if you’re applying for SSDI benefits
First, let’s carefully review your application form. An incomplete application can result in unnecessary delays. Ensure that all sections of your application are filled out accurately and completely. Seek assistance, if necessary, from a trusted legal professional or advocate. If it is written by hand, the calligraphy should be as legible as possible, without stains, patches or errors.
Next, evaluate how strongly backed your case is. Many applicants make the mistake of assuming their word alone is enough to prove their disability. However, comprehensive medical records, including doctor’s notes, test results, and treatment history, are essential to substantiate your claim. The most documents you attach, the better the changes to get approved.
Missing deadlines can lead to the denial of your claim. Always respect and comply to the timelines set by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Failing to submit appeals or additional documentation on time can jeopardize your chances of approval.
The next word is of particular importance: Honesty. This is crucial when discussing your abilities. Overstating your capacity to work or perform daily tasks can lead to a denial of benefits. Be candid about the limitations imposed by your disability. And, of course, do not lie.
Failing to follow prescribed medical treatments can be seen as non-compliance with the SSA’s requirements. Continue with your medical treatments and follow your doctor’s recommendations to demonstrate the seriousness of your condition. Additionally, while it’s indispensable to describe your symptoms accurately, exaggerating them can harm your credibility. Stick to the facts when discussing your condition.
Applying for SSDI Benefits Could Take More than One Try
If your initial application is denied, don’t give up. Many valid claims are initially denied, but you have the right to appeal the decision. Seek legal help to navigate the appeals process effectively. Ensure that the information you provide in your application matches what’s in your medical records and other documentation. Inconsistencies can raise doubts about the legitimacy of your claim. On average, about 30% of initial SSDI applications are approved.
If your initial application is denied, you can request a reconsideration. During this stage, a different examiner reviews your case. Unfortunately, the approval rate at this stage is also relatively low, with only around 10-15% of reconsideration requests resulting in approval.
If your claim is denied at the reconsideration stage, you can appeal and request a hearing before an administrative law judge. This is often considered the most crucial stage for approval. The approval rate at the hearing stage is significantly higher, with about 45% of cases being approved.
If your case is denied at the hearing stage, you can further appeal to the Social Security Appeals Council and, if necessary, the federal court. However, the chances of approval at these levels are relatively low.