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Avoid These Mistakes When Filing for Social Security Disability Benefits

If you suffer from a disabling medical condition that prevents you from working, you’re probably already feeling the financial stress. As such, you know the importance of getting prompt approval on your claim for Social Security Disability benefits. Unfortunately, the odds don’t favor most claimants. According to a publication on Outcomes of Applications for Disability Benefits, only 23 percent of applicants are approved for benefits after filing their initial applications. Even approvals at later stages are low, with a final award rate of 34 percent. Meanwhile, denials average around 62 percent.

With these statistics in mind, you can see that mistakes in filing for benefits can have a devastating impact. Though you might meet the eligibility requirements, errors can lead to delays in your payments or a denial of your claim. You improve your chances of a smooth process when you retain a South Carolina Social Security disability attorney, but you might find it helpful to review common mistakes in filing for benefits.

  1. Not Understanding Eligibility Rules: The Social Security Administration (SSA) will only approve your application if you qualify under the strict regulations. The first eligibility rule is that you must have a medical condition that meets or is the equivalent of an item on SSA’s Listing of Impairments – commonly known as the Blue Book. There are also additional criteria depending on the specific disability program:
  • For Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you must have accumulated sufficient work credits and paid into the fund via mandatory contributions from your paycheck; and,
  • Under the needs-based Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, you must have assets and income under a certain limit.
  1. Not Working Closely with Your Doctor: Your physician is a key advocate in getting disability benefits because his or her diagnosis, treatment, and other medical records form the foundation of your medical condition. You should make regular appointments for documentation purposes, and be very specific in describing how your ailment affects your capabilities – especially as they pertain to working.
  1. Collecting Unemployment: When you file for unemployment benefits, and are also applying for disability benefits, you’re taking a contradictory position. To seek unemployment, you’re saying that you CAN work, but you don’t have a job. That runs contrary to the point of SSA programs.
  1. Giving Up on Your SSDI/SSI Claim: A denial can be disappointing, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon your efforts to obtain benefits. It’s not uncommon for SSA to make mistakes, and new information may come to light regarding your medical condition. Through next steps and the appeals process, you may be able to get approval.
  1. Believing You Cannot Afford a Social Security Disability Attorney: Your legal fees in a disability claim come out of the benefits you ultimately receive, calculated as the lower of 25 percent of your backpay or $6,000. If your application is denied, you don’t pay. As such, cost should never factor into whether you get legal help.

Trust a South Carolina Social Security Disability Lawyer to Handle the Claims Process

When you have solid legal representation on your side throughout the process, you can avoid these errors and increase the likelihood that SSA approves your qualifying claim. For more information on our legal services in the area of Social Security disability benefits, please contact Powers Law, LLC. Our attorney is also a registered nurse. We serve clients throughout upstate South Carolina from our office in Greenwood, South Carolina.

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