If you’re unable to work due to a disability of any kind, then you might make the decision to apply for SSDI. This is a disability insurance benefit that is offered through the Social Security Administration. Although it can be tricky to obtain the benefits that are available, it’s not impossible.
During the application process, there are a few mistakes that you want to avoid if you want to improve the likelihood that your application will be approved.
Not Understanding the Process
A common mistake that you might make during the SSDI process is entering it without knowing anything about what could happen or why. This process is about more than just completing an application and turning it to an agent or an attorney. You can call SinkLaw for a free review if you need more in-depth information about the process.
An attorney can help you get a better understanding of what to expect during the initial interview process and what to expect as you enter through the other stages of determining your eligibility. They can also make recommendations that will increase your chances of success.
To qualify for SSDI, you can’t make more than a certain amount of money each month or be employed over a certain number of hours. Your medical condition should be one that prevents you from working or that prevents you from engaging in basic activities of daily life.
The SSA requires that you meet at least the first two of its criteria in order for you to be deemed eligible for SSDI.
Navigating the Process Alone
Avoid trying to go through the process by yourself. This is a time when you want to have an attorney on your side who understands SSDI and how to approach your case. If you try to go through the process alone, then you could leave out important details that could result in being denied the benefits that you deserve.
Downplaying Your Disability
Don’t try to play the hero and fight your disability. Your disability may be limiting you more than you let on because you want to appear strong in front of your friends and family. When you have a hearing to talk about your disability, you should explain how you feel and some of the limitations that your disability puts on your daily life.
Even if you do chores at home, you should explain the simplicity of them so that the court doesn’t think that you’re able to do a lot of strenuous work. You’ll also want to explain which chores you are no longer able to do and any costs involved in hiring others to do them for you.
Exaggerating Your Disability
Just as you don’t want to try to downplay your disability, you also don’t want to exaggerate your disability. Some of the ways that you could do this include:
- Using medical equipment that is not needed in court
- Crying or making statements that are over the top
- Taking a folder of documents that aren’t really necessary to court
If you act like your disability is worse than it is, this information may be uncovered by investigators. When this happens, you will lose all credibility and it will harm or even cost you your case.
Not Having a Work History
You need to have a work history in order to qualify for some type of SSDI. You should be able to talk about the limitations that your disability has on working or what they have had in the past on working.
Even if you’re able to work part-time, you need to mention these details to the court. Your disability might allow you to work a few hours a week but not in the way that you want due to not being able to stand or sit for long periods of time.
Not Understanding the Appeals Process
If you lose your initial hearing, you can appeal. However, you shouldn’t miss this date. If you do, then you will likely not receive SSDI as it could make it look as though you don’t care about receiving the benefits that you need.
Many people are denied benefits the first time they apply, so if you’re denied don’t give up hope. Consider reaching out to a lawyer for assistance with the appeals process.