Learn about the common mistakes applicants make when getting approved for social security disability benefits.
Applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be a lengthy and complicated process. Ultimately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has final say as to which applications are approved and it can deny applications for many different reasons. In order to have the best chance of successfully winning Social Security Disability benefits, certain common mistakes can be avoided during the application process.
Common mistakes to avoid on your application
#1 – Applying for benefits when you do not have a disability
First and foremost, to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, an applicant must have a physical impairment that is severe enough to last at least 12 months or result in the claimant’s death. Unfortunately, some applicants attempt to fabricate their Social Security disability claim when they do not have a disability. Only those with a qualifying disability will be successful in obtaining Social Security Disability benefits.
#2 – Not including sufficient medical documentation in your application
Though many claimants who apply for Social Security Disability benefits are in fact too sick or injured to work, simply arguing this fact will not get an applicant far with the SSA. Applicants need to provide sufficient medical documentation of their disabilities. This includes information about which physicians have treated your injuries or disability, official diagnoses of your condition, your scheduled appointments and medications, and much more. It is important to have solid evidence of your disability from reputable doctors that proves you are unable to work or hold down a job.
#3 – Embellishing or leaving out details about your work history
A large part of the application for Social Security Disability benefits involves detailing your work history and providing specific information about your previous job duties. It is essential to be truthful about your work history and not to exaggerate or omit any important details about your previous work. For example, a careful claim examiner may notice if you claim that you frequently lifted 75-pound items on the job when in fact you only carried 20-pound items on a regular basis. Exaggerating certain details or omitting important facts about your work history could give the SSA a reason to deny your claim.
#4 – Applying for benefits when you earn too much income
Though claimants are still allowed to work a small amount when they apply for disability benefits, the SSA will not approve a claim if you earn more than $1,090 a month. This is what the SSA calls its substantial gainful activity limit. The SSA views income as a claimant’s ability to work, so if you are earning more than the SGA limit, the SSA will believe you are not so disabled that you cannot work.
#5 – Not getting the help you need if you are denied
The vast majority of claimants who apply for Social Security Disability benefits are denied within the first few steps of the application process. However, an application does not have to end after you receive an initial denial. Applicants who appeal these decisions when they have a legitimate claim are often able to secure Social Security Disability benefits in the end. Hiring a knowledgeable Social Security Disability attorney to help you work your way through the system will help you navigate the process.
If you are in the process of applying for SSD benefits or looking to start an application, contact our office online or call #(847) 577-4476 for a free case evaluation.