Only an estimated 31 percent of people who submit a Social Security disability application are awarded benefits, reports the Social Security Administration. At the initial claims level, as many as 79 percent of applications are denied. Denials come as a huge blow to struggling individuals and families who desperately need these benefits to make ends meet each month. There are ways to increase your chances of approval when you apply for benefits, however.
Common Mistakes to Avoid when Applying for Disability Benefits
Combined, our disability attorneys at Patton Brown Law have assisted disabled people with their claims for more than two decades. We are familiar with the common mistakes applicants make and how to avoid them. Below we share five errors that almost invariably lead to rejected claims.
- Mistake #1: Not having sufficient medical documentation. You may, in fact, be too sick to work, but you have to be able to prove this to the Administration. You need to provide solid, medical evidence from reputable medical professionals that point to the fact that your condition makes it impossible for you to continue working.
- Mistake #2: Exaggerating or omitting details about your previous jobs. When you apply for disability, you will be asked to list your previous work history. If you fudge the details (for instance, claiming that you regularly carried 100-pound boxes on your back when you really only carried 25-pound boxes), an examiner may notice a discrepancy and deny your claim.
- Mistake #3: Applying for benefits while you still have a job. Social Security law defines a person with a disability as one “who is no longer able to perform Substantial Gainful Work…” Generally, if you apply for disability benefits while still working at a job that pays you more than $1,090 per month gross earnings, your application will be denied on a technical basis because you are performing “Substantial Gainful Work.” You still can be considered disabled even while you are still working, as long as your monthly earnings monthly do not exceed $1,090.
- Mistake #4: Waiting too long to apply for benefits. Delaying filing your application could make it harder to prove your disability, which could stall or thwart your claim. Plus, there is a time limit on back pay, so if you wait too long to apply for disability benefits, you may lose your right to some of your disability benefits permanently.
- Mistake #5: Filing for benefits without an attorney. Social Security laws are complex, and the application process can be daunting. An attorney can help ensure you’ve filled out all the paperwork correctly, obtained enough medical evidence and help you avoid the mistakes that result in denials.
Call to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Disability Attorney in Winston-Salem
Don’t let your legitimate disability claim get wrongly denied. Let our disability law firm help. To schedule a free consultation with one of our disability attorneys at Patton Brown Law in Winston-Salem, contact us today at 855-860-2150.