If you are applying for Social Security Disability benefits, you need to be aware of things that you don't need to do as well as what you do need to do to improve your odds of a successful claim. When the process is not properly followed, your odds of being approved for benefits are significantly impacted. Here are a few things you need to avoid doing when you are in the process of applying for Social Security disability benefits.
First, make sure you don't leave any questions blank. Answer every question truthfully, in detail and to the best of your abilities. If you are having problems with the questionnaire, you can get a representative to help you. With the help of an attorney or advocate, you can eliminate some of the problems that might result when completing the detailed package.
- • Make sure your forms are filled out accurately. You shouldn't have any typos or misspelled words because they can cause confusion. A word that isn't spelled correctly can be mistaken for another word. Make sure you use spellcheck. Have someone help you go over your answers thoroughly.
- • Make sure you list all of your medical providers. Each medical provider can provide insight into your condition and how it affects you. Even if you have only seen a doctor once, make sure you have included him or her on the list. This might be complicated if you have several specialists or multiple providers, but it is very detrimental to the success of your case.
- • Make sure your dependents are listed. If you are awarded benefits, your dependents might also be eligible to receive benefits. This is true in particular for any minor children that you have. Make sure you have listed them all accurately.
- • Don't apply for benefits if your condition is not severe enough to keep you from working. To be eligible for benefits, you must be out of work for a year or longer. If you are applying for disability, it is because you are unable to work. You should not apply for benefits and continue to work because you are showing Social Security that you can earn a living and are able to work.
- • Don't refile a new application right after your claim has been denied. Instead, file an appeal. Your odds of being approved do improve through the reconsideration process rather than from the initial get-go again.
- • Don't apply for the wrong disability program. The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees two different programs. To apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) you have to work the equivalent of five years full-time out of the last 10 years. Supplemental Security Income is for low-income individuals who haven't earned enough credits to qualify for SSDI.
- • Don't stop going to the doctor. You are much likely to be approved for benefits if maintain medical care so you can show them how your condition has worsened or what limitations you are facing because of these conditions.
If you are applying for disability benefits, it is advised you consult with an advocate or an attorney. Having a representative fight for you can improve your chances of being awarded disability.