Social Security Disability Mistakes Part 2
In a prior blog, I listed five common mistakes that claimants make when applying for Social Security disability benefits. There are many more potential pitfalls to avoid on the road to approval, however. 1. Not keeping sufficient records. Make copies of any documents you submit with your application, and keep files for all of your medical documentation. The simple truth is, the postal service is fallible and your documents could get lost along the way–or your disability examiner may misplace a file or two. Having a backup copy can prevent any delays due to lost paperwork. Also, it is in your best interest to follow up on any documents you submit to ensure they are received. Make a note of when you called and who you spoke with during the follow up. 2. Not preparing for a long delay between applying for and receiving benefits. The disability process, as I've mentioned before, can be quite lengthy. As such, the time between your application and your first check can last from months to years. If possible, it is always best to make sure that you are financially prepared to deal with this lag time before you apply for benefits. 3. Being unclear about your current job's requirements. Leaving out a physical/mental requirement could be the difference between approval and denial of your claim. You should be sure that you list out every single job requirement that you can think of. 4. Letting your frustration get the better of you. Like anyone else, disability attorneys and claim examiners appreciate a kind demeanor. Taking out your frustrations on those who are in a position to help you will only make the process more difficult. Physicians will be less likely to write a convincing report for your case, and a judge or examiner may be reticent to hear you out. The people involved with your case are almost always struggling under the weight of a vast number of applications, and they rarely move hostile claimants to the top of their piles. 5. Accepting an early defeat. Many applicants every year accept their first denial and never make any appeal for their disability benefits. This is unfortunate, since the majority of claims are approved after an appeal or an ALJ hearing. The process may be trying at times, but if you persist and make the appropriate appeals, your odds of approval are significantly increased.