Understanding The Legal Process

Don'T Make These SSDI Mistakes When You Need Benefits

by Eli Gregory

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) allows ex-workers to take care of their impairments while earning a monthly benefit. It's easy to slip up, though, and make the below mistakes. Read on and be warned so that you can avoid these blunders.

Earning money while you wait – It can take time to get through the SSDI process, and many claimants decide to take a job while they wait. Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will deny benefits if the claimant is still working. You must not be working when you apply and while you wait to hear back from the SSA. However, once you are approved for benefits, you can work in some situations if you earn less than the limit imposed by the SSA.

Misunderstanding the one-year rule – To qualify for benefits, claimants must be unable to perform work for at least a year. However, the rest of the rule goes on to say that you can also be unable to work for a year in the future. That means you don't have to wait a year to apply. You do, however, prove that you have an impairment that is expected to last a year, has lasted a year, or a combination of those.

Not using care when applying – The SSA application for benefits is lengthy and it asks claimants for a lot of information. However, you must keep in mind that the SSA has literally no information about your condition except what is on the application at this point. To ensure the application is complete, accurate, and fully explains your impairments, consider asking a Social Security lawyer for help. They understand how to fill out the application so that you are more likely to be approved for benefits the first time.

Giving up when turned down – Unfortunately, the SSA turns down a great many claimants for SSDI benefits. In fact, you might as well expect to be turned down and refuse to be disappointed when it happens. Instead of giving up when you receive that denial letter in the mail, take advantage of the appeal opportunity.

To help you get your benefits approved at the appeal, speak to a Social Security lawyer. You don't have to pay the lawyer up front. Claimants pay the lawyer out of the back pay that comes along with their first month's benefit payment.

A Social Security lawyer will investigate why the SSA turned you down and work on proving that you need benefits at the appeal hearing. They will help you as you appear at the hearing and explain to the hearing officer why you should be approved. To find out more, speak to a Social Security attorney.