Applying for Social Security Disability benefits requires carefully following instructions and avoiding pitfalls and mistakes that can delay or cause an application to be rejected. When applying for benefits, it is important to avoid the following mistakes as these can reduce benefit payments or lead to a denial of payments.
#1: Collecting Unemployment
Unemployment benefits are paid to those who are unemployed but remain willing and capable of working. While the SSA claims that they will not deny a claim based on this, it remains at the discretion of the examiner. Moreover, in some cases, the individual may be required to repay unemployment benefits once the disability claim is approved.
#2: Remaining in the Workforce
Individuals may continue to earn up to$1,170 per month in 2017 while applying for or receiving benefits. However, individuals earning more than this amount are ineligible for benefits. There are some exceptions including those for individuals who are self-employed and for those who secure part-time employment. However, the claims examiner can review the applicant’s ability to work when examining the claim and this review can affect the disability award.
#3 Missing Deadlines & Not Preparing
Appeals, submissions of evidence, hearing dates, etc. come with firm deadlines. It is crucial not to miss any of these deadlines. Doing so can cause the claim to be rejected which means having to start the entire application process over from the beginning, adding considerable time to the process. Similarly, not preparing for hearings and submitting requested documents can also lead to a claim being rejected. Social Security disability lawyers in Tennessee can help manage the application and appeals process and ensure SSDI deadlines and materials are in order and submitted within the proper timeframes.
#4 Not Seeking Medical Care
Disability examiners depend on medical records when making their determination of disability. If the examiner has no records to review that establish the cause, severity, and impact of the alleged disability, then it is difficult for them to make an accurate determination. In situations where the individual has not been to a physician, the SSA will schedule and pay for a consultative exam with a private physician. However, it is not uncommon for claims that go through this process to be denied which is why it is always advisable to consult with the individual’s own doctor to establish medical need prior to submitting the application for benefits.