Common SSD Application Mistakes

Government benefits like Social Security Disability (SSD) are a safety net, and sometimes even a blessing, to those who desperately need them. Nonetheless, they are generally not approved easily. As a matter of fact, 64 percent of initial SSD claims are denied. For this reason, no matter how deserving of these benefits you are, it can be invaluable to have a skilled disability attorney supporting you when you apply for them. If you are situated in Macomb County, Oakland County, Wayne County, or elsewhere in Michigan, there are no better attorneys to assist you than those at Disability Law Group.

What makes you eligible for SSD?

SSD is designed to assist workers who have become disabled by providing them with monthly payments to help sustain them and to contribute to the support of their spouses and children. These benefits are earned by workers who have FICA taxes taken from each paycheck during the years they have worked. In order to be eligible for SSD, you must be between 18 and 65 years of age and have earned a certain number of work credits during your period of employment before becoming disabled. You must also be unable to engage in “Substantial Gainful Activity” (SGA) as defined by the agency.

Disability Law Group Will Help You Receive the SSD Benefits You Are Entitled To

If you have suffered a severe, disabling injury or have been diagnosed with a long-term, serious illness, you may be entitled to SSD benefits. Because the eligibility requirements for these benefits are so stringent, and the application process is so bureaucratic, without an experienced and caring disability attorney to guide you, it is all too easy to fall through the cracks.

This is where our highly qualified disability law attorneys come in. Our guidance will not only provide you with the best possible chance of receiving approval of your initial application, but we will also continue to support you through any necessary appeals. Even better, we work on a contingency basis so you will only have to pay attorneys’ fees if we win your case.

Mistakes We Will Help You Avoid

  1. Applying for disability benefits too soon typically makes it more of a stretch to prove that your disability is permanent. Once you consult with Disability Law Group, we will advise you to wait until you a have definitive medical evidence that your impairment has lasted, or is expected to last, 12 months or longer or to result in your death. Though the waiting may be tough, you can trust that we know precisely how to give you the best chance of winning your SSD claim. We will want you to file as soon as you become unable to sustain work, and we will be by your side throughout every step of the way.
  2. Not having all the appropriate documents in hand for your initial application. Too many individuals, confused and intimidated by the application process, neglect to bring or send all necessary documents with their application. We will make sure you provide the authorities with your birth certificate, proof of employment, medical evidence and any other necessary documents. If you don’t have these papers, we will help you obtain them. We will also carefully review the facts of your case to determine which forms, or additional supportive evidence, may be helpful to put you in the best position possible to be approved.
  3. Collecting unemployment while waiting for disability may be considered when the agency makes a decision on your disability case. In other words, you are claiming inability to work for a substantial wage when you apply for SSD, but claiming you are ready and able to work when you apply for Unemployment Benefits. However, our skilled attorneys understand all the criteria that will be evaluated once you file, and will advance any helpful arguments to help you succeed in your claim.
  4. Continuing to work while applying for disability is also problematic because it implies that you may not be too disabled to work. Although the Social Security Administration will allow you to work while on disability, it requires that you be unable to perform substantial gainful activity (SGA) so it restricts your earning power while still being eligible for disability benefits. As of 2019, your permitted earnings are limited to $1,220 gross per month, which may not be considered a living wage to most.
  5. Missing deadlines can leave your claim dead in the water. SSD will simply refuse to review your application or your appeal if you miss applicable deadlines with little room for error. With one of our experienced attorneys at the helm, you can be sure that you will never miss a deadline and that your file is being expeditiously processed.
  6. Neglecting to check on the status of your claim is a serious error because government offices are, as frequently noted, not as efficient as other businesses, and are often understaffed. Enormous quantities of paperwork flow through SSA offices and can too easily be misplaced or misfiled. This is why it is extraordinarily important to follow-up on your case, a task our attorneys take seriously. With Disability Law Group on your side, you can rest assured your paperwork will not go astray and will be diligently followed up on.
  7. Not following your doctor’s orders will jeopardize your application because SSD will likely infer that if you had taken your medication, attended therapy sessions, followed the recommended diet, or taken other measures your doctor prescribed, your condition might have improved to the point that you were no longer disabled. Our attorneys understand the realities of being unable to work, without a steady income, and sometimes lacking necessary support to obtain treatment. We will make sure you understand the importance of treatment and compliance, and how to best position yourself for a successful determination of your case.
  8. Not making certain your doctor understands your condition(s) and limitation(s) can be detrimental to not just your case, but your overall health and care. Your medical providers should make you feel comfortable, providing an extraordinary level of care that you deserve. You will want to make sure to tell your doctors and specialists about all of your symptoms, including medication side-effects so that they can understand your unique situation and assess your limitations. Our attorneys will work together with you and your medical providers to ensure Social Security considers your limitations for work.
  9. Not fully preparing for an SSD hearing can dismantle your attempt to obtain SSD. Our attorneys will work with you to make sure you feel supported and heard, preparing you for every step of the process and what to expect next – from the initial application of benefits through your decision and beyond. As long as you have one of our trusted disability attorneys at your side, you can be certain that you will be prepped on questions you are likely to be asked and how the process works. If your case requires a hearing, you will feel prepared and ready to tackle the process with your attorney next to you.

The Biggest Mistake of All Is Not Seeking Excellent Legal Counsel

At Disability Law Group we know the many challenges you and your family are facing when you’re no longer able to sustain employment. Confronting the complexities of governmental agencies is never easy or pleasant. When you’re doing so with the added burden of a major disability, you need all the help you can get. Our disability attorneys are not only competent but compassionate. Call us, email us, or fill out one of the contact forms on our website. We are dedicated to getting you the benefits you deserve.