The process of filing for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is intimidating to a lot of people, and most are worried about making a mistake on the paperwork.
While it’s always best to complete the paperwork properly, small mistakes aren’t likely to tank your claim and lead to a denial. Other mistakes you can make are much more critical. Here are three ways people typically damage their own chances of gaining approval:
Mistake 1: Not talking to your doctor
Your doctor can be your best ally when you’re filing for disability benefits – so don’t let them be caught off guard when the Social Security Administration contacts them for your records and an evaluation of what functional capacity you retain.
Most doctors won’t tell you that you should file for disability, but a good doctor will listen when their patient says that they can’t work anymore. An honest conversation about where you are, physically and mentally, and what your job entails can give your physician valuable insights that could help you in this process.
Mistake 2: Not staying on top of record requests
Far too many disability applications are denied because someone in a hospital’s or clinic’s records department doesn’t return SSA’s request for information in a timely manner. After a while, SSA will simply make their decision without those records in your file.
If you know that the strongest support for your claim is tied to a particular medical facility, make sure that they provide all your records to the claims examiner – even if you have to get copies yourself and forward them on.
Mistake 3: Not staying in touch with SSA
Sometimes the claims examiner in your case will try to contact you for additional information. Maybe they want to clarify something you wrote about your daily activities or your job duties. Maybe they want you to go to a consultative exam for an independent evaluation. Either way, if you fail to respond to their calls and letters, they’ll make their decision based on what’s already in their file – and that’s not likely to favor you.
It’s not easy to get an SSD claim approved. If you’re struggling, it may be time to seek legal guidance.