It is very difficult to get Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (“SSDI” or “disability benefits”). In fact, each year the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) denies approximately 70% of the disability claims it receives. Sometimes the reason a claim is denied is due to mistakes that the applicant has made when filling out the SSDI application.
Like every other part of the SSDI process, your application is important. When you can no longer work due to disability, you cannot afford to have your SSDI application rejected because of mistakes made in filling it out. That is why we believe that even at the application stage, SSDI claimants should have competent and experienced social security disability counsel to assist them.
To help you avoid making mistakes on your application, here are 3 of the most common mistakes we often see:
- Applying for Disability Benefits Without Sufficient Proof.
The SSA is very particular about the proof they want in order to make a determination of whether an applicant is “disabled” or not. Claims that are not supported by sufficient objective medical evidence will not be approved.
This situation can come up in several ways. Sometimes people apply for SSDI benefits without having enough medical proof that they their condition has lasted for 12 months. Do not make the mistake of assuming that the consultative examination supplied by the SSA will give you sufficient proof to support your claim. Consultative examinations are very brief. More often than not they support the SSA’s denial rate.
If you do not have recent medical records, the consultative examination may help you, but you should not apply for SSDI without sufficient medical records to support your diagnosis, the severity of your condition, and how it interferes with your ability to work.
Another way a lack of medical records can impact an application is when all a person has is a doctor’s note saying they are disabled. A doctor’s diagnosis is not enough. You need to have medical records that establish your condition objectively. This means you will need things like MRI results, x-rays, treatment notes, etc. Generally, those who have been seeing a doctor for some time have a better chance than those who only went to a doctor once or twice.
- Not Seeking Medical Treatment or Not Following Doctor’s Orders.
Another mistake people make when applying for SSDI benefits, is applying for benefits when they have not seen a doctor in years or have refused to take the medicine their doctor prescribed.
While it can be difficult to get medical care if you are no longer working and have no medical insurance, if you intend to apply for disability benefits, you should do what you can to get to a doctor regularly. If you claim you are so severely “disabled” that you can no longer work, yet you don’t see a doctor for your condition, your claim simply will not be credible to the SSA.
- Choosing the Wrong Onset Date.
Many applicants do not understand how important their onset date (or “date of onset”) is to their SSDI application. The correct onset date is the date that you were no longer able to work due to your disability.
It is not the date you were diagnosed. Nor is it some date that you pick thinking you will get more backpay if you push your date back further and further.
Whenever you are dealing with the SSA, keep in mind that your credibility is on the line. Always be honest when you fill out your application or communicate in any way with the SSA.
Legal Advice at Your Fingertips.
If you have applied for disability benefits or have been denied benefits, get in touch with us. We are experienced social security disability attorneys. We FIGHT hard to get our clients the benefits they deserve. We have helped many people get benefits and we can help you, too. We have offices throughout Missouri, Kansas, and Illinois. We also have offices in Oklahoma. We offer free consultations and we do not get paid unless you win your case. Send us an e-mail or call 855-727-8625.