Common Mistakes to Avoid when Applying for Long-Term Disability
Bankruptcy | February 25, 2015
Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, is a benefits program administered by the Social Security Administration. The purpose is to provide financial support to people who have a medical or psychological disability that prevents them working or seeking work for a year or more.
The benefits are not just for the disabled person. Family members may also be able to qualify for them, and so can children who have long-term disabilities. The amount of SSDI a person may be eligible to receive depends on how long they have worked and paid Social Security taxes as well as the amount that they have paid into the system.
A Long and Complicated Process
As with just about anything involving the government, applying for SSDI can be difficult and drawn-out process. More than 60 percent of SSDI applications are rejected on their first submission. The Social Security lawyers at Morgan & Morgan have helped numerous clients successfully apply for SSDI. We know the ins and outs of the system and what information the government is looking for.
People who are suffering from an injury or illness have enough on their plate without being expected to understand how SSDI works. There are a number of common, but easily avoidable mistakes that prevent people from receiving the benefits to which they are entitled.
Here are a few:
- Some people don’t see a doctor for their condition or don’t take prescribed medication. While these things may seem like an expense you can’t afford, it’s essential to get medical care. The “treating source,” as the SSA refers to it (the claimant’s doctor or other medical professional) is considered the best source of evidence of a person’s disability.
- Some claimants continue to work or collect unemployment while waiting to receive SSDI benefits. While these things are not strictly forbidden under SSA rules, they can harm your ability to qualify for SSDI. It’s best to consult with an attorney before applying for unemployment insurance or seeking to do any type of work or vocational training.
- Too many people fail to check the status of their claim, miss appeal deadlines and don’t prepare for administrative law judge (ALJ) hearings. It’s essential to be proactive when you are applying for SSDI and throughout the process. Unless you have an attorney, you are your own advocate.
- Many people are not aware that psychological and mental conditions can be considered a disability qualifying for SSDI or are ashamed to admit to one of these conditions. However a number of mental impairments are potentially eligible for SSDI. They can be more difficult to document and often require diagnosis and treatment by a mental health professional, but if a mental impairment is preventing you from working, you may qualify for SSDI.
- Finally, too many people assume that they can’t afford to hire an attorney to fight for them. Our lawyers in Athens, GA at Morgan & Morgan are only paid if we get you benefits. Our fees are directly debited from your benefits by the SSA. Further, by law, there is a limit on what we can charge for assisting with SSDI claims.A disability shouldn’t send you and your family into financial ruin. If you or someone you know needs to apply for SSDI or is having problems being approved for benefits, call us to arrange a free consultation. Our attorneys have a combined half-century of experience helping the people of Northeast Georgia get the disability benefits they deserve.
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