Social Security benefits can provide tremendous relief if you experience a disabling injury or illness. These payments can serve as a lifeline during a time when most people do not know how they will get the care they need and still make ends meet.
Thus, the fear of a denied claim is certainly understandable. To combat these fears – and the risk of a denied claim – you can consider some helpful strategies.
Strategy 1: Get help
Between coping with a serious health condition and the stress of missing work, navigating a complicated benefits application process can be too much.
Thankfully, no one has to go through this alone. Legal representatives are among those who have experience and insights into how the Social Security Administration works and what it takes for a benefits claim to be successful. They can help prevent costly delays and mistakes.
Strategy 2: More is generally better
A quick way to get your application sent to the “denied” pile is to leave out details. When compiling the information to include with your application, know that more is (typically) better. This means being as thorough as possible when you are collecting:
- Medical evidence (including medication details, test results and medical records)
- Dates and locations of your doctor visits
- Contact information for all your care providers
- Names and Social Security numbers for you and any others in your family, if applicable
- Work summary and background
Omitting any of these elements can leave a representative feeling as though they cannot approve your claim based on what they have in front of them.
Strategy 3: Don’t give up
Despite your best efforts, the SSA could still deny your claim. In fact, the agency denies roughly two-thirds of all initial claims. Some people give up at this point, assuming a denial means they are not eligible or do not qualify.
However, this is not necessarily true.
Denials could happen for various reasons, from a simple omission or oversight to a misinterpretation by an SSA representative. Whatever the reason, it is crucial to know that an appeals process is in place to help you seek a different outcome.
These strategies can reduce the risk of a denied claim, so utilizing them if you are unable to work due to a disability can be wise.