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The Dos and Don’ts of Applying for Disability Benefits: Expert Advice

Are you applying for disability benefits and want to ensure you do everything to secure a successful case? Getting informed about the process and the dos and don’ts is an excellent first step – you are already heading to a good start.

Securing disability benefits is a complex journey. Far from simply filling out a form and expecting a monthly Social Security check, claimants must take a series of steps to prove they have a qualifying disability preventing them from working. The application process is crucial as it is your only chance to show the Social Security Administration (SSA) you need and are entitled to financial assistance.

For this article, an experienced disability attorney in Indianapolis provided insightful information about preparing a strong application. Use these tips to enhance your chances of winning your case and receiving the benefits you deserve.

Don’ts: What Not To Do To Avoid an Application Rejection

This is what expert attorneys recommend their clients avoid doing when applying for disability benefits:

Don’t Be Vague in Your Application

Disability benefits application forms are numerous and lengthy. You must respond to endless questions regarding your disability, health condition, financial status, lifestyle, and personal matters. Those questionnaires may seem unimportant or irrelevant; you may feel like skipping them or responding vaguely. Don’t do that.

The SSA will use your answers to determine whether you are an eligible candidate. Believe us, they will go through every point thoroughly before making their decision.

Don’t Submit Inaccurate or False Information

Your disability worker will review the information and evidence you provide to verify its authenticity. Don’t submit false information, such as listing health conditions you don’t have or lying about your working history. Doing so can instantly disqualify your claim; besides, lying in your disability application is a federal crime punished with prison,

Make sure you are honest in your application, and avoid errors and leaving blank spaces.

Don’t Stop Seeing Your Doctor

You will be asked to submit medical evidence to back up your condition along with your application. Medical records and a physician’s testimony will be your best allies during this process.

A disability benefits claim is a lengthy process that can take up to five months. During that time, don’t stop seeing your doctor. If you stop attending medical appointments or cease your treatment, the SSA may take it as you no longer need social security assistance and deny your claim.

While you wait for a reply from the SSA, document every medical appointment, treatment, medication dosage, etc. All that information will be vital if they request extra evidence or your claim gets rejected and you must file an appeal.

Don’t Give Up When Things Get Hard

As mentioned, a disability benefits claim can take time; this process often has several bureaucratic steps and moves slowly. The prolonged waiting often leads to a lot of stress and frustration. It’s vital that you don’t lose sight of your objectives and stay patient.

It’s also common for most disability cases to face rejection in the initial application and require an appeal. Don’t despair; you can still win your case; if you reach this instance, you can work with a disability attorney to build a more solid case.

Dos: Take These Measures to Secure A Successful Case

Now, let’s move on to what you should be doing during a disability benefits claim to win your case:

Do File A Claim As Soon As You Are Diagnosed A Disability

The SSA pays disability benefits when a health condition keeps you from working for a year or longer. But you shouldn’t wait 12 months before filing a claim. You can often get a physician to assess your situation and determine whether your condition will last at least a year.

It’s crucial that you set a precise “date of onset” for your disability; one way to do that is by filing a disability claim. The date of onset will help you prove you have a disability, mark the beginning of the 12-month required period, and determine how much back pay you are due after getting approval.

Do Respect Deadlines

A missing deadline can mean instant disqualification. Always check the deadlines and submit any documents or evidence on time. For example, if your first claim is denied, you have 60 days to present an appeal for a secondary review. After that time, you will have to start your case again from zero.

Do Communicate And Collaborate With The SSA

Check the status of your application every once in a while to see how it’s evolving and to ensure any issue is not holding it back. Keep open communication with the SSA and your disability worker, and promptly respond to their requests.

Do Consult A Professional Disability Attorney

As this article shows, filing a disability benefits case is a complex process. It involves complicated and extensive paperwork, medical evidence, doctors’ and witnesses’ testimony, potential hearings, and staying in contact with the SSA. As the case advances, you will encounter laws, rules, and guidelines that can confuse even general practice attorneys.

A lawyer with experience handling disability cases can help you gather medical evidence, fill out the forms, present documents on time, and maintain direct communication with the SSA.

Final Thoughts

Now you know the main dos and don’ts of filing a Social Security disability claim. The process can be challenging, but as long as you don’t give up and work hard on your case, you will get the results you deserve.

We hope this article guides you in building a solid case and winning your disability benefits.