Applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) insurance can be a complex and confusing process. Many applicants don’t know how to fill one out properly and understandably become frustrated. It’s important to understand the eligibility requirements and why applications are sometimes not approved. Below is a guide to assist you as you go through the application process. If you’ve made any of these mistakes and had your claim denied, then GG&F will help you so that you receive the benefits you need to make ends meet.
To help you in your application process, here is an explanation of what is required to be eligible. Even if you are unable to work, that does not mean that you automatically qualify for SSD insurance benefits. First, you must have earned 40 work credits, and 20 of them must have been earned within the last 10 years unless you are under the age of 31, where the requirement is lower. Additionally, in order to be considered disabled, per the Social Security Administration (SSA) requirements, you must be:
Some conditions automatically qualify the applicant to receive benefits, such as certain cancers, cardiovascular impairments, neurological disorders, skin disorders, or chronic kidney disease. In order to automatically qualify and get the benefits you deserve, you can provide evidence that documents the signs, symptoms, and laboratory results to confirm your diagnosis.
According to the SSA, approximately 63% of initial SSD insurance applications are denied. Additionally, they report that the acceptance rate for first-time applicants is 22%. Now that you understand how to qualify, here are some common mistakes to avoid when applying for SSD insurance benefits.
As stated prior, you must provide a complete job history in order for the SSA to determine if you have enough work credits, which, fortunately, is a straightforward part of the process. You can do this by filling out form SSA-3369, in which you list the different jobs you held in the 15 years before you became disabled and what types of skills or physical or mental requirements were needed at each of those jobs.
Applying and getting approved for SSD benefits is a time-consuming process. It’s best to assume that the process will take several months, if not several years. Planning ahead will make the process easier for you. It is also recommended that you start cutting back on non-essential expenses immediately to avoid risking your financial health while waiting to be approved.
By contrast, it’s possible to apply too soon. As mentioned earlier, the SSA requires that your disability lasts at least a year, is expected to last at least a year, or has resulted in a terminal illness or condition. Suppose your doctor cannot estimate how long your condition is expected to last. In that case, the SSA may deny your application under the assumption that your condition is expected to improve within the year. We’d be happy to clarify with you what documents you should provide.
As mentioned earlier, in order to receive benefits, you will need to provide medical documentation proving your diagnosis. Denials are often due to insufficient medical documentation or evidence for illnesses and conditions that do not automatically qualify an applicant for SSDI benefits.
Because your condition is serious enough to render you unable to work for at least 12 months, the SSA expects that you will follow your doctor‘s or specialist’s treatment plan for your disability. If there are gaps in your medical care, the SSA may argue that it is impossible to determine if you are truly disabled if you are not receiving the care you claim to need.
Suppose your claim for disability benefits has been denied. In that case, you have the right to appeal the decision through reconsideration by the state DDS, a hearing by an administrative law judge, review by the Appeals Council, or review by a federal court.
With 65 years of experience helping people in Santa Barbara get their social security disability benefits, GG&F can help you get the benefits you deserve if you’ve been denied due to accidentally making any of these mistakes. We also serve Fresno, Santa Maria, Bakersfield, Visalia, and Oxnard, so call us today to schedule your free case review by a caring and compassionate SSD attorney. Our attorneys will advise you on which type of appeal you must file a request for, and ensure that yours is filed within the required 60 days from the date of the notice denial.
Our former clients describe us at GG&F as relentless, dependable, and communicative. We patiently keep you informed at every step of the process so that you understand what is happening with your case, even if you do not have any legal background whatsoever. At GG&F, we always have your best interest at heart and leave no stone unturned when it comes to preparing the strongest case possible. You do not pay unless we win for you, so call now to schedule your free case review with an SSD attorney at GG&F.