Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are designed to offer much-needed financial assistance to individuals who are no longer able to work due to injury or illness.
Unfortunately, most SSD claims are denied on the first application thanks to the complicated claims process and errors in the evaluation process. You can reduce your chance of an unfair denial, however, by avoiding certain common mistakes made during the application process. Here are some problems that routinely trip people up:
1. Providing insufficient or inaccurate medical information
Every disability application must be evaluated to see if the claimant meets the definition of “disabled” according to the Social Security Administration.
On your SSD application, be sure to provide detailed information and any supporting documentation you may have about your employment history, medical problems and physical limitations resulting from the illness or injury. Make sure that you provide SSA with all of your doctors’ names and contact information and a complete list of your conditions so that SSA can obtain additional supporting documentation and medical records on your behalf.
2. Failing to follow through with your doctor’s directives
Your claim can be denied if you fail to follow through with your doctor’s instructions. This may include skipping doctor appointments, failing to take prescribed medications or skipping scheduled rehabilitation or physical therapy sessions without good cause. (Exceptions can be made for many cases of non-compliance, including situations where you cannot afford treatment.)
3. Not attending a consultative exam that’s requested
Sometimes, the SSA may direct you to undergo a special “consultative examination” with one or more doctors before making a decision on your claim. Failure to honor this directive can also result in your claim being denied since SSA will then make a decision based on what’s in your file — and that usually isn’t enough to gain approval if a consultative is requested.
The SSD claims process tends to be very complicated. Understanding and avoiding mistakes that can hurt your claims process is key to ensuring that you get the financial assistance you deserve following an injury or illness.