Filing for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits is a complicated process and can be frustrating for most people who have no idea how to navigate the process. Besides an overwhelming amount of paperwork that must be gathered, managed, and submitted according to deadline, claimants must also be familiar with the laws and regulations that govern SSDI claims.
These reasons alone are enough to warrant working with an experienced SSDI attorney; however, you should also be aware of certain mistakes that could disable your SSDI claim:
Following poor advice from SSA. Unfortunately, you cannot rely solely on the advice you may receive from SSA employees. While they may not intend to give you bad information, the fact is that it happens all the time. You always need to stay on top of your claim. If you are mailing documents to the SSA, be sure to send them certified mail with a return receipt requested so you can prove your documents arrived if necessary.
Expecting your claim to be approved on the first try. Almost three-quarters of all SSDI claims are denied initially, so you need to realize that denials are a part of the process. It is very likely your claim will be denied, so you should prepare for an appeal. To make your claim more viable to examiners, be sure your medical records accurately reflect your diagnosis, prognosis, and your functional limitations.
Expecting all you need is a doctor’s opinion to receive SSDI benefits. Your doctor’s opinion is important in obtaining SSDI benefits, but it is not the only important factor. That opinion also needs to be supported by medical or other evidence that you are truly disabled.
Discontinuing medical treatment. Many disabled individuals discontinue medical treatment in order to save money while they wait for their disability benefits. However, this decision could affect your eligibility for benefits. The SSA will need to examine current medical documentation to determine if you qualify for benefits. If you cannot provide recent documentation, it can be more difficult to prove you are disabled and in need of benefits.
Assuming you can’t afford legal help with your SSDI claim. Most SSDI attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means that they are paid only if they are successful in getting you disability benefits. The SSA must approve what an SSDI attorney charges; in addition, if you are owed disability back pay benefits, an attorney’s fee can only be 25% of up to a maximum of $6,000 in most cases.
If you are disabled, it’s best to let an attorney assist with the application for SSI benefits. The attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. will ensure the SSA has the information they need to approve your application for disability benefits. Call us at (918) 582-2500 or toll-free at (800) 722-8880 or complete the simple form below for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.