Common Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for Social Security Disability

Applying for Social Security Disability benefits is an extensive task. A multi-faceted process, and there are many mistakes that can lead to your application’s denial. Thankfully, avoiding these mistakes can be easy when properly educated and prepared. Increasing your chances of a successful application requires minimizing mistakes whenever possible.

One of the best ways to avoid mistakes is to consult an experienced Los Angeles California social security attorney. The good news is that your first consultation to explore your legal options costs you nothing but your time and attention.

Incomplete Applications

Submitting an incomplete application is a common mistake. Applications must be double and triple-checked to ensure that they’re completely done. Any omissions or errors will result in denial. Special care should be taken when filling in the details of your medical condition, work history, and daily activities.

Insufficient Medical Proof

Failure to provide adequate medical proof in support of a claim is a common mistake made by applicants. Thorough medical documentation is a cornerstone process utilized by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Without medical proof, the extent of your disability won’t be acknowledged and your claim will be denied.

Early Applications

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When applications come in too early, claims will be denied. Disabilities must be proven to have lasted at least 12 months before claims can be accepted. All claims that don’t meet this requirement will result in denial. Your healthcare provider can help you determine the appropriate timeline for submitting an application.

Your Disability Is Poorly Understood

While the SSA maintains a listing of impairments — known as the Blue Book — that outlines the details of specific medical conditions and the related criteria for disability eligibility, some conditions may not be included. When this happens, your application can result in a denial.

An evidenced medical condition and relevant listing details are required to apply for disability.

Disregarding Doctor’s Orders

The SSA encourages applicants to follow prescribed medical treatments. Failure to follow your doctor’s prescribed routines without a valid reason will cause your claim to be denied. If you’ve failed to adhere to your treatment plan and medications, be prepared to start your claim again from the beginning.

Consultative Exam Responsibilities

If a consultative examination (CE) by a medical professional is requested by the SSA, cooperation is central to the success of your claim. Your claim will likely be denied if you choose not to participate fully or skip this process. Attend any scheduled medical evaluations and be sure the information you provide about your condition is accurate.

Failure to Utilize the Appeals Process

When your initial application gets denied, you’ll need to understand the appeals process to avoid starting over from the very beginning. The appeals process can be lengthy and complex, but it’s better than a complete restart.

Compromised and Conflicting Information

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Applying for Social Security Disability benefits can mean navigating a labyrinth of complex and detailed information networks. It can be confusing, and sometimes it’s the system that’s flawed rather than the applicant’s error. Be vigilant and wary of inconsistencies, as they’ll cause the validity of your claim to come into question.

Shunning Legal Assistance

The Social Security Disability process is known to be overwhelming. The stress compounds when dealing with denied claims, appeals, and reapplying. A common mistake applicants make is failing to consult legal professionals once they’ve reached this point. Experienced disability attorneys can help you reapply without making the same mistakes twice.

Missing Deadlines

The SSA adheres to strict deadlines. This is true of initial submissions and appeals. When you miss deadlines, expect the SSA to deny your claim. Thus, it’s best to respect deadlines and consider working with a disability attorney to ensure you’ll always be on time.

Avoiding Mistakes With A Social Security Attorney

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When dealing with the SSA, you do have a right to professional representation. That means you can find a seasoned and dedicated attorney with several years of experience dealing with disability benefits matters.

Disability advocates are also available. These individuals aren’t lawyers but have passed an SSA-administered exam and met other educational and occupational requirements. They can support you throughout your disability application process as well.

Should I Seek Assistance Applying for Social Security Disability?

Whether or not to seek you should such help is a personal decision based on your particular circumstances. Data compiled by the AARP has shown that having a professional representative at your side throughout the process can boost your chances of getting Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income.

What Can a Social Security Lawyer Do for Me?

An SSDI lawyer or legal advocate can help you fill out the SSDI or SSI application. They will also help to gather medical records and other evidence for your disability worthiness. They will stay updated on all of the new laws and regulations affecting your claim.

They can review your application for the above mistakes or omissions that could hurt your chances of success. They’ll accompany you for meetings and conferences with Social Security officials. Your representative can advocate for you with the SSA on a micro and macro scale while providing access to crucial information in your Social Security file.

Can A Social Security Attorney Help Me Get Disability Benefits?

Having an attorney or advocate present can help to secure benefits or file an appeal when your benefits have been denied. Your representative can prepare you and any witnesses on your side. They’ll prep you to testify at a hearing before an administrative law judge and walk you through each step in the appeals process.

If necessary, your legal representative can question expert witnesses that Social Security presents. A 2017 study by the Federal Government Accountability Office found that people who are represented at disability hearings are nearly three times more likely to be successful.

If you’re interested in legal representation, it may behoove you to sit down with an attorney for a consultation right away. Applying for disability can be a long and tedious process, however, with a skilled attorney at your side, they can ease your burden while you focus on what’s most important to you.

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