Let Our Social Security Disability Law Firm Help You Avoid Mistakes When Applying for SSDI
While it is not necessary to hire an attorney to apply for SSDI benefits, doing so can not only increase your chances of approval, but can also keep you from making mistakes that can be fatal to your application. Below are some of the most common mistakes claimants make when applying for SSDI benefits. For more information about any topic presented here, please contact a Social Security disability law firm like ours. Our practice has offices in New York City and Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
1. Applying for SSDI Benefits While Receiving Unemployment Benefits
There is no strict prohibition on applying for unemployment benefits while you wait to receive a decision on your SSDI claim. However, it can significantly complicate matters. When you apply for SSDI benefits, you are telling the SSA that you are disabled and unable to work for at least 12 months. However, when you apply for unemployment benefits, you certify that you are able and willing to work should you find the appropriate position. Thus, while not necessarily fatal to a disability claim, your certification to your state unemployment board that you can work may harm your case at the SSA.
2. Earning Too Much Money
The SSA considers individuals disabled and not able to work if their disability prevents them from pursuing “substantial gainful activity” (SGA). If your monthly income is below the threshold dollar amount the SSA considers SGA, you may continue working. However, if your income is more than the threshold, you may want to consider quitting your job. As of the date of publication, the SGA amount for non-blind individuals is $1,260 per month.
3. Discontinuing Medical Treatment
Eligibility determinations for SSDI benefits require a great deal of documentation, which comes mainly in the form of medical evidence. If you have discontinued treatment with your physician, your medical documentation may be too old for the SSA to make an accurate determination. For some conditions, the SSA also requires evidence that your symptoms have not improved despite following your treatment plan, and such failure could harm your eligibility.
4. Not Including Psychological Illnesses
When evaluating your eligibility for benefits, the SSA wants a complete and accurate picture of your health, and that includes your mental health. While mild to moderate mental illnesses — such as depression or anxiety — on their own may not be enough to qualify for benefits, they can strengthen your claim when considered alongside your physical injuries or illnesses.
5. Not Appealing a Denied Claim
Applying for SSDI benefits is a long, drawn-out process that often involves multiple levels of review. Most SSDI applications are denied at the initial level of application, but the approval rate rises significantly for those who appeal their denials. If your initial claim is denied, it does not mean that you cannot receive SSDI benefits — only that it may take more effort.
Contact a Social Security Disability Law Firm Today to Discuss Your Claim
To avoid making mistakes on your application that could cost you your benefits, you should seek the assistance of an experienced Social Security disability attorney. For more information, contact the Social Security disability law firm of Turley, Redmond, Rosasco & Rosasco by using our online form or calling us at 877-693-2529 (New York City), 516-745-5666 (Garden City), 631-582-3700 (Ronkonkoma), or 631-399-0400 (Shirley/Riverhead).