If you’ve recently sustained an injury that left you unable to work, you may have to apply for Social Security disability. Before you do, it’s best to brush up on some of the ways you can unintentionally set yourself up for a rejection. The fact is, many applicants receive a denial for one reason or another. Knowing where and how they went wrong can go a long way in saving you time and frustration while better ensuring you get the financial help you need and deserve.
Submit As Much Information As Possible
One of the biggest aspects of applying for Social Security disability is successfully proving you are disabled and cannot work in your current condition. To that end, you need to submit adequate information. In addition to noting your physical injuries, you also need to make it clear what, if any, mental stress has stemmed from your injury and inability to work. Do not think a Social Security representative will be able to make assumptions or connect the dots. In fact, it is often better to submit more information and details than you think you need.
Ensure Your Contact Information Is Accurate and Up-to-Date
Noting your current cellphone or home phone number, physical address, and email address seem basic enough. That said, failing to update the Social Security Administration when you change addresses or numbers can see your disability application denied. Besides your own contact information, you also need to make sure the Administration has the most current number and address of any doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and the like you include on your application. If you aren’t sure of something, don’t make a guess on your application. A simple oversight can cost you.
Track Your Application, and Follow-Up
Something else that can result in denied social security disability is taking on a “send it and forget it” mentality. What this means is that once you submit your application, it’s essential that you track it. It can take a while before you receive any kind of response. In the meantime, you want to read over your submission to see if there’s anything that needs to be changed or added, such as the contact information touched on above. If you have to attend hearings, don’t miss them. Show the Administration you’re proactive and doing everything you can on your end to help them out.
Double-Check Your Medical Records
On a related note, don’t leave the submission of your medical records up to the healthcare professionals. You need to do your part by noting the medical professionals who treated you, where you went for your treatment, what tests you received, and what medication you take or physical therapy you receive. This wealth of information shows how your condition has progressed since you became injured and how severe your injury currently is.
Check If You Make Too Much Money
Say you were working in a well-paying position before you were injured and became disabled. If that position paid a bit too well, above what the Administration calls “Substantial Gainful Activity,” you may be denied disability. While you can work while collecting disability, you cannot work in a position that’s above the current SGA limit. Bear in mind that this limit changes on an annual basis, so do your research to see what the most current limit is. Even if you aren’t above the SGA limit, the amount of your disability benefit can be reduced according to how close you are to that limit.
Ask Your Physician How Long Your Injury/Disability Will Likely Last
If you break your arm or leg at work and are expected to make a full recovery in a few months, there’s no need to apply for SSD. The only time you want to apply for disability is when it’s expected that your disability will last either 12 months or will prove fatal. Should your injury result in blindness, that’s a different story.
Besides the injury itself, you also have to consider the physical limitations the injury places on you and your ability to work. While you may be disabled, the impairment may not be serious enough to successfully qualify for disability benefits approval.
Before submitting your SSD application, consider working with an SSD lawyer to help you with your application. A single consultation can give you a better idea of your chances of success and tips on what you need to do for your application to be approved. There’s no need to wait for complications before you start planning for them.