Applying for Social Security benefits can be a challenge. The application process requires strict compliance with complicated and confusing rules. Completing the necessary forms accurately can be overwhelming. But completing them properly will definitely improve your chances of being approved for benefits the first time. The Social Security Administration will make an initial determination of your application based only on the information you provide with your application. Seeking the assistance of Rogers Social Security Disability lawyers to help you from the beginning might make the difference.
Tip No. 1 – Mistakes in your application will result in denial of your application
Statistics show that the majority of social security disability claims are denied the first time. According to some reports, around 65% of all claims are denied when they are first filed, and nearly 85% are denied on appeal. Clearly, knowing some of the common mistakes that result in denial would be beneficial. Probably the most important thing you can do is consult with experienced Rogers Social Security Disability lawyers before filing your initial claim.
Tip No. 2 – You should stop working while your disability application is still pending
Many Rogers social security disability lawyers suggest that you stop working while your application for Social Security disability benefits is pending. Why? Because you are claiming that your disability prevents you from working. If you cannot afford to quit your job then you should at least cut the number of hours you work substantially. That way you won’t jeopardize your eligibility for disability benefits. Social Security makes a determination about your SGA (Substantial Gainful Activity), which is the amount of work you can engage in while remaining eligible for disability benefits. If you earn more than the Substantial Gainful Activity limit, your claim will probably be denied.
Tip No. 3 – Collecting unemployment after you apply is not a good idea
What many people do not realize is that applying for unemployment benefits after you apply for social security disability creates a serious conflict. When you file for unemployment, you are required to certify that you are ready and available for work, but you are simply unable to find work. On the other hand, when you file for Social Security disability, you are stating the opposite. You must show that you are unable to perform substantial work activity for twelve months or more. As you can see, these two statements are in conflict, so collecting unemployment benefits will very likely jeopardize your disability application.
Tip No. 4 – Be sure you can prove you are disabled
You are considered disabled “if you cannot do work that you did before and we decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s).” The Social Security Administration looks to see that your disability will either last for at least one year or result in death. But the Social Security Administration does not actually make this decision. Social Security Disability lawyers can help you prepare your claim appropriately the first time, to reduce the chances of being denied.
Tip No. 5 – Disability Determination Services decides whether you are disabled
When you submit your disability application, your file will be turned over to a designated state office that will be responsible for reviewing your medical records and any other documentation you submit along with it. In both Arkansas and Missouri, this office is referred to as Disability Determination for Social Security Administration. These state agencies make the decision about medical eligibility for Social Security disability for their residents of that state. Nevertheless, the process has been standardized throughout the United States.
Tip No. 6 – Keep up with the status of your application
After you have submitted your application for Social Security disability, it is important to keep checking on the status of your claim. There is always a chance that your paperwork could be misplaced, slip through the cracks so to speak, or the agency may neglect to inform you that your claim has been denied. Without knowing the status of your claim, you could be waiting around for nothing, only to find out later, some action was needed, or your claim had already been denied.
Tip No. 7 – Be sure not to miss your appeal deadline if you are denied
If you are one of the many applicants whose applications are denied the first time you should file an appeal. If that is the case, it is crucial that you do not miss your deadline for appealing. Missing the deadline is always a basis for denying an application or a reconsideration of your application. The deadline for requesting a disability hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ) is 60 days from the date your disability claim was last denied.
If you have questions regarding Social Security Disability or any other personal injury concerns in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a consultation, either online or by calling us as (888) 433-4861.