When you’re dealing with a health issue that keeps you from doing your job or even moving without pain, it impacts your whole life. Not only are you worried about your health, but medical bills and the loss of your income compound your stress. The solution that many find is Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, which gives recipients a monthly check to help with bills. This allows you to focus on improving your health.
Unfortunately, the process of gaining benefits is not an easy one, and most applicants for SSDI get denied. Understanding how the Social Security Administration, or SSA, judges your application for approval or denial can help you find success. Even if your case is genuine, a poor application or an application that fails to address every requirement will likely be denied.
If you’ve already been denied your SSRI application, be aware that there are still several appeals steps you can take to gain the benefits you deserve. There are also several things you can do to give your initial application and appeals a better chance at approval.
Filing Your Claim Early
The process of applying for SSDI is long and arduous, and the sooner you file, the sooner you could receive benefits. Also, many benefits rely on whether you have disability insurance, so filing it before that insurance expires is important.
Filing Your Appeal Early
If your initial application is denied, file your appeal within 60 days, ideally as soon as possible. During that time, you need to look over your application and ensure it has all the relevant information, along with any new medical issues that may have come up. When you get to the appeal process, hiring a disability attorney can make the process faster and easier on you.
Ensure Your Forms Are Filled Out Properly
Whether you’re sending out the first application or an appeal, read over it to be sure that every piece of relevant information is there. It is vital that you accurately include things like past work experience, doctor’s visits, and medical evidence.
Work with Social Security
Regardless of how you feel you’re being treated by the SSA, it’s important that you’re cooperative and honest with officials and examiners at the administration to help you get the benefits you deserve.
Provide All Evidence, Details, and Information Accurately
Your application must prove that your disability prevents you from working a full-time job, so include all the medical evidence necessary to show that. Any doubt about whether you’re telling the truth will almost certainly result in the denial of your application.
You should provide:
- Hospital records
- Treatment information
- Medical evidence
- Doctor’s reports
- Testimonials from those who know you
Your information should include all details of your past medical treatment, such as dates and location of treatment, and contact information for your doctors. Be sure to also include medical evidence for the same reasons, such as your medical history, results of lab tests and clinical examinations, and testimony from your doctor and their diagnosis of your disability. Examiners don’t have the time or ability to look up this information if you fail to provide it. They may deny your application because of this uncertainty.
Know SSDI vs. SSI
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is for workers who have a significant amount of work history and have paid taxes during that career. If this is what you’re applying for, you must include details of your work history and ensure they’re accurate, as this will affect approval.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is meant for people who have only limited income or have suffered from a disability from a young age and have therefore not had a workforce career. It’s important to apply to the right program.
Continue to Seek Treatment
Ensure you follow the treatment plan you’re given. Your application could be denied on the basis that, if treatment were followed, you would be able to work. Be sure to attach proof of recent treatment.
Q: What is the most approved disability?
A: The most commonly approved disabilities nationwide are arthritis and other similar musculoskeletal disabilities. Also commonly approved are various conditions of heart disease. Some heart disease conditions may automatically qualify you for the Compassionate Allowances List, or at the very least, speed up the approval process.
Q: Is there any way to speed up disability?
A: After submitting your initial application or appeal process for SSDI, there are a few things you can do to speed up the process. Under certain circumstances, you can request an On the Record review or get an early decision from a Social Security attorney, both of which replace an appeal hearing. Some conditions are listed under the Compassionate Allowances List, which expedites the SSDI process. The same is true for those who have a terminal illness.
Q: What should you not say when applying for Social Security disability?
A: Don’t overestimate your current capabilities. Be honest about why you’re unable to work full-time, and don’t underestimate the mental and physical toll your disability takes on you. Don’t base your answers on your good days or what you’re able to do under extreme physical pain. The point of the Social Security questions is to see what you’re able to do on the job daily. You don’t want to give the impression that you can do something daily that you can only do at your physical best.
Q: What are your chances of getting approved for disability?
A: More than half of initial applications are denied. During the appeal process, the reconsideration stage is the first step, and it has the lowest approval rating since it follows the same rules as the initial application. Further steps for appeal, like the hearing and later reviews, have better chances with a qualified disability attorney.
Hire a Social Security Disability Attorney
One of the best ways to improve your chances of SSRI approval is by hiring a disability attorney, particularly if you’re going through the appeals process. An experienced attorney can keep you from making the typical mistakes and ensure your application covers all the necessary information and materials. Contact our attorneys at Gade & Parekh so they can help you get the benefits you deserve.