When you have an illness or injury that prevents you from working, disability benefits can be crucial. These benefits provide the financial support people need to care for themselves when they can no longer earn a regular paycheck. However, securing these benefits can be much more complicated and frustrating than you might realize.
Being disabled is not enough to warrant benefits, unfortunately. You also need to be eligible for Social Security disability benefits and apply for them via the Social Security Administration. With all this in mind, we want to point out four common mistakes people make when it comes to applying for SSDI benefits.
- Applying for the wrong type of benefits: As we mentioned, you might not qualify for SSDI. However, you might qualify for other benefits like Supplemental Security Income. Applying for the wrong benefits can ultimately cost you time and money.
- Not submitting a clear and comprehensive application: The SSA is looking for any reason to deny an application and move on. If your application is incomplete, inaccurate or does not appear to meet the requirements, an agent will likely deny it rather than try to sort out the problem.
- Failing to meet deadlines: There are many deadlines associated with SSDI applications. If you don't meet them, you won't receive benefits.
- Ignoring your option to appeal: Because of the enormous backlog of applications and strained SSA resources, many applications for benefits are initially denied, even if they should be approved. Filing an appeal will therefore be crucial if your claim is denied, but too many people fail to pursue this option.
Knowing about these common mistakes can explain why your claim may have been denied. However, it won't necessarily help you avoid them in the first place, considering you are likely navigating this process for the first time and may not know what to look out for.
For these reasons, it can be crucial that you consult an attorney as soon as possible after becoming disabled. With legal guidance and support, it can be easier to avoid mistakes that could cost you crucial benefits.