Rogers social security disability attorneyWhen you apply for Social Security benefits, it can be a challenging and somewhat intimidating process. Submitting a claim requires strict adherence to the often complicated rules governing both the application process and eligibility requirements. Completing the necessary forms accurately can be a challenge as well, as they are often confusing.  However,  completing those forms properly following all of the rules can improve your chances of being approved for Social Security benefits the first time. The Social Security Administration makes an initial determination based entirely on the information you provide in your application.  If you want to get it right from the start, it is wise to consult with a Rogers social security disability attorney as early as possible.

Common Mistakes People Make When Applying for Social Security Disability

The statistics show that most social security disability claims are denied initially.  To be exact, approximately 65% of all claims are denied when they are first filed, and approximately 85% are denied on appeal.  Clearly, knowing some of the common mistakes that result in denial would be beneficial.  One important step you can take toward filing a successful disability claim is consulting with a Rogers social security disability attorney before filing your initial claim.

You Should Not Collect Unemployment After you Apply

Most people do not realize that applying for unemployment benefits creates a serious conflict with a claim for social security disability.  When you file for unemployment, you are required to confirm that you are ready and available for work, but you just can’t find any.  However, when you file for Social Security disability, you are stating the opposite, that you are unable to perform substantial work activity for twelve months or more.  As you can see, these two statements are mutually exclusive. As such, collecting unemployment benefits is likely to jeopardize your disability application.

What Proof is Necessary for a Successful Claim?

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 expects that your disability will last for at least one year or result in death.  However, the Social Security Administration does not actually make the decision. Your Rogers Social Security Disability attorney can help you prepare your claim right the first time.

Who Determines Whether You are Disabled?

When your disability application is submitted, your file is turned over to a designated state office that actually reviews your medical records and any other documentation you submit along with it. In Arkansas, this office is called Arkansas’s Disability Determination for Social Security Administration. These state agencies determine medical eligibility for Social Security disability for their residents. However, the process has been standardized throughout the country.

It is Best to Stop Working While your Application is Pending

Like collecting unemployment benefits, it is better to stop working, since you are claiming your disability prevents you from working.  If you don’t quit your job entirely, you should at least cut your hours substantially, in order to not jeopardize your eligibility for disability benefits.  Social Security actually determines the amount of work you can do, while still being eligible for benefits.  This is known as the SGA (Substantial Gainful Activity). If you earn more than the Substantial Gainful Activity limit, your claim will likely be denied. In 2019, the SGA is $2,040 for blind disabled applicants and $ 1,220 for non-blind applicants.

Keep Track of the Status of your Application

Once you have submitted your application for Social Security disability, there is still more to do. It is important that you continue to check the status of your claim regularly. 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.

Be Aware of the Deadline for Filing an Appeal if You are Denied

If you are one of the many applicants who are initially denied, and you plan to file an appeal, make sure you do not miss your deadline.  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 claims in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (888) 616-6356.

Author Photo

Wesley Cottrell

Wes Cottrell earned his B.A. from Pittsburg State University in 1981 and his J.D. from the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas in 1985. He was admitted to practice law in Kansas in 1986, in Missouri in 1987, in Arkansas in 1989, and Oklahoma in 1993. He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.

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