Employees with a severe, disabling condition expected to last at least a year may qualify to receive crucial Social Security Disability insurance (SSDI) benefits.
However, people make common mistakes during the application process that can lead to delayed or denied claims.
Mistake #1: Expecting approval
A disabling condition may be all that a person can think about. They can be living in pain, seeing doctor after doctor seeking treatment, and coping with the daily challenges of being unable to work and stressed.
A person in this situation often assumes their condition is obviously severe and disabling. Thus, they may not appreciate the very real possibility of the Social Security Administration denying their request for benefits. However, a vast number of initial claims are denied. On average, just 22 percent of initial claims receive approval.
Mistake #2: Losing track of documentation
Organization is crucial when preparing an application or appeal for benefits. These cases are dependent on the facts and the information you can prove.
Parties who are disorganized or do not keep track of their medical records can have a much more difficult time making their case. If you have a severe mental or physical condition, make sure you keep track of your paperwork, including schedules of doctor’s visits, test results and reports of any accident that caused injuries.
Mistake #3: Assuming eligibility
Not all workers with a serious condition qualify for SSDI, and it can be a mistake to assume that you will receive these benefits just because you are hurt and cannot work.
To qualify for SSDI, individuals must:
- Work in a job covered by SSDI laws
- Have worked long enough to earn sufficient work credits
- Have a condition the SSA determines to be disabling
- Be unable to work in your job or any other job because of your condition
If you do not meet these criteria – or the SSA does not feel you meet these criteria – you may not receive disability benefits.
These mistakes are not uncommon. Often, they happen because people are unfamiliar with the legal system and misinformed about their rights.
Legal counsel can be a critical tool in avoiding these mistakes. And whether you are applying for benefits, assessing your options for appeal or examining other sources of financial remedies, utilizing all the tools at your disposal can help you secure the desired outcome.