If you are one of the millions of Americans living with a mental illness and it is seriously affecting your ability to hold down a job, then applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) through the Social Security Administration (SSA) office in your area or online is advised. However, before you apply, it's important you understand each of the three most common reasons for denials and how to avoid them:
Denial Reason #1: Complete All Paperwork and Double-Check it Before Submitting It
The most common reason for the SSA to deny a new claim for SSDI is paperwork errors. Missing a single checkbox or forgetting to fill in one blank could put your application in the automatic denial pile.
How to Avoid a Paperwork Denial
To avoid a paperwork denial, make sure you check and then double-check your SSDI application. If your condition affects your ability to focus or concentrate, then wait for a day you are feeling well to complete the paperwork.
Denial Reason #2: Your Story and Your Doctor's Story Don't Match
When you file for SSDI, the SSA will send paperwork to every doctor you have seen in the last decade. It's very important the reports they receive match what you have to say about your condition. If they don't, then you will get a quick denial.
How to Avoid a Conflicting Report Denial
Once you have decided to file for SSDI, request an appointment with the physicians you see on a regular basis. At this appointment, discuss your future disability application and ensure you are both on the same page about your condition. This is important because doctors have many patients and your appointment updates them with your case and gives you a chance to answer any clarifying questions your doctors may have.
Denial Reason #3: Non-Compliance as a Patient
When the SSA reviews your application, they look closely at the medications you are prescribed and how often you visit your providers. If you have a mental illness requiring medication for stabilization and yet you don't take any medication, then this is a huge red flag for the SSA.
How to Avoid a Non-Compliance Denial
If you want the SSA to approve your claim, then you must be in compliance with your providers' instructions. You need to be attending appointments as scheduled and you should be taking medications as prescribed. If you aren't doing so, then you should start today and delay applying until you can prove you are in compliance.
Where to Seek Additional Help
If you still fear your SSDI claim may end up in the denial pile at the Social Security Administration since mental illness is complicated for their examiners to evaluate, then you should seek the help of a Social Security lawyer. The attorney will go over your medical situation and work history to help you formulate a plan for getting your claim approved.