According to the Center for American Progress, approximately 8.8 million Americans receive social security disability insurance benefits each year. If you're considering applying for social security disability or are in the beginning stages of the application, you understand how daunting the entire process can be. There are several reasons your claim can be denied, and sometimes it is because of a simple mistake or miscalculation. Here are a few of the most common mistakes to avoid while filling out your social security disability application:
Not Understanding the Whole Process
In order to qualify for social security disability, the Social Security Administration will consider if you meet all five of the following criteria:
- According to the Social Security Administration, as of 2016, if you are capable of earning more than $1,130 each month at your current job, you are not technically disabled.
- The Social Security Administration will determine if your symptoms or condition is considered "severe." For a condition to be severe, it must greatly impair your ability to work.
- Your condition must be on the SSA's list of disabling conditions, and you must have suffered from this condition for at least one year.
- You can no longer perform the job you were performing prior to the disability
- The disability makes it impossible for you to perform any other kind of work
If you do not meet all the above-mentioned criteria, the Social Security Administration will deny your claim. This is why it is important that you meet all of these criteria and that you have the documentation to back it up.
Not Explaining Your Work History in Enough Detail
Once you've determined you meet all the criteria to qualify for social security disability, it is time to begin filling out your application. When it comes to the section about work history, make sure to provide as many details as possible. This includes details about your previous jobs, education and your age.
For example, if you worked in construction and were expected to remain on your feet for several hours each day, make sure to point out that your current disability makes this impossible.
The SSA will consider your past work history, the physical demands of your job, how your disability has impacted your ability to meet these demands and if you have the education and experience to find another job.
The vocational analysts who review your case can deny your claim if they believe you are physically able to do your current job, can perform your job in a different capacity or have the skills and knowledge to find another job. Because of this, it is vital to explain in great detail how your disability limits your ability to perform your current job, and why you wouldn't be able to find a different job because of your age, education or work history.
Going Through the Process Alone
Between filling out the application to finding a doctor who is willing to support your claim, going through the entire social security disability claim process on your own can be extremely daunting. Many first-time applicants are denied because they aren't able to fill out the application in enough detail, or because they make a simple, avoidable mistake.
Whether you're filling out the application for the first time or have been denied in the past, finding a social security disability lawyer to help guide you through the application process is critical. An attorney can help ensure your application is filled out correctly and can help you win your case if your claim is denied.
Applying for social security disability benefits can seem overwhelming and a little scary, but it doesn't have to be. Before you begin your application, it is important to contact an attorney who can help you get through this entire process with less frustration and more success.