If you are unable to carry on with your job as a result of a significant mental or physical condition, you may qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD). This is a government initiative that provides vital assistance to people who are no longer able to work due to an injury or a disabling illness. However, there are strict technical and medical criteria for SSD benefits — and denied claims are common.
The process of applying for SSD benefits can be quite confusing, and mistakes on your claim can only make it harder to gain approval. Here are some of the most common mistakes disability applicants make:
Applying too soon
To be eligible for SSD benefits, you must be unable to work for at least 12 months or your condition must be terminal. You might have a difficult time proving that you are suffering from a long-term disability if you apply for your benefits immediately following an accident or just after a condition is diagnosed. You generally have to show that you’ve tried available treatments and given them time to work before your claim can be approved.
Failing to provide sufficient medical evidence
Your SSD benefits application must be accompanied by relevant medical evidence. These can be in the forms of an examination history, diagnoses, your doctor’s prognosis for your injury or illness, surgical procedures, rehabilitation and therapy records. SSA will generally help you acquire this information from your treating sources, but not every doctor responds to their requests. You may be asked to go to a consultative exam so that SSA can get more information. Failing to do so can make it very hard to get your claim approved.
The SSD claims process can be very complex. Learn as much as you can about how to successfully file your claim and know when it’s time to reach out for assistance with an appeal.