If you’ve been disabled and can no longer work, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits from the federal government. If you’re one of the 60% or more that has their claim denied, however, get ready for stress and delays as the government tries to clear a backlog of 1 million or more appeals per year, resulting in some applicants waiting as long as 26 months for a hearing.
To give your application the best chance of success, or to change the government’s mind on your appeal, there’s no better solution than working with an experienced Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) attorney. Whether you’re applying for the first time or ready to appeal, the experienced team at BenGlassLaw is standing by to hear your story and walk you through what happens next.
So what is the government looking for when it makes a decision about your claim? There are a lot of factors at play:
- Work Status
- How Long You Have Worked
- Type of Job
- Type of Condition
- The severity of Your Condition
- Doctors’ Reports
Even if you believe you are disabled or your doctor says you are disabled, your case will hinge on the government’s definition of disability. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has an approved list of conditions that are considered disabled, but disability is not limited to only that list. If your situation is complicated, you’ll need an attorney by your side to make sure that your claim is the strongest claim it can possibly be.
The SSA defines “disabled” as a severe medical impairment that both:
- Prevents you from doing the work you used to do, AND
- Prevents you from doing any other type of work.
So it’s not enough that you can’t do your current job. You must prove to the SSA that you can’t do ANY job, even tearing ticket stubs at the movie theater. It’s a high bar, but here at BGL we help injured people every day who genuinely cannot work and are ready to receive the benefits that they are owed by law.
There are some major errors that we see people make with their applications, often by people who don’t use an experienced SSDI attorney for their claim. Here are the three biggest mistakes we see:
- Incomplete Social Security Application Information
Your initial application is your first chance to tell your story to the SSA. It needs to cover all of your medical problems thoroughly, both physical and mental. Be as detailed as possible, because the SSA will generally look into your medical records for one year prior to the date your disability began.
If your application is vague, leaves off a medical issue, or doesn’t list one of your medical providers, the SSA will not know to consider those medical problems and you may be giving them an incomplete picture.
- Incorrect Application Information
Inaccurate statements or incorrect dates can delay your application’s acceptance, or even cause it to be denied. The start date for your disability is one of the most important dates in your entire case, and will determine how far back your benefits can go, and which medical records are relevant to your case.
For conditions that worsened gradually, a starting point is the first day that you could no longer work. It can be difficult, but the more accurate you are in your application, the better chance you have of demonstrating to the government that you are disabled and getting approved for benefits.
- Missing Application Deadlines
If you decide to work with an experienced legal team like the Social Security Disability Team at BenGlassLaw, these problems can be avoided entirely, but we do see a lot of applicants who have missed important deadlines.
The SSA sends a lot of its materials through the mail and require a quick turnaround (sometimes as short as 10 days.) If you’ve applied for SSDI benefits, check your mail frequently so you don’t miss any of these notices and torpedo your case.
If you have questions about the SSDI application process, the reasons for denials, and the appeals process, we have a free guide for you to download, Solving the Social Security Disability Puzzle: Avoid Dangerous Mistakes and Get the Benefits.
Get answers to your biggest questions:
- How do I know if I’m eligible for SSD benefits?
- How do I apply for benefits properly?
- Why would my application be denied?
- How do I calculate my potential benefits?
- Can I still work while receiving benefits?
And much more...