7 Ways to Mess Up Your Social Security Disability Benefits Claim
Filing for Social Security Disability benefits can be a long and complicated process full of paperwork, deadlines, and eligibility requirements. Unfortunately, because of the complexity of the process, individuals who attempt it on their own are usually denied their benefits claims. This can have devastating consequences on their medical care and finances. If you are injured and unable to work, Social Security Disability may be your only opportunity to maintain a consistent income until you get back on your feet. Because of this, it is important that you do not attempt the process on your own, but rather, hire a Tampa Social Security Disability benefits lawyer to advise you on how to successfully apply for SSDI.
7 Mistakes That Will Cost You Your SSDI Benefits
At The Pendas Law Firm, our Social Security Disability lawyers advise you against making these seven costly mistakes, which can ultimately ruin your chances of receiving disability benefits:
- Insufficient Medical Records.
One of the main reasons that individuals are denied SSDI benefits is because their medical record lacks sufficient medical evidence. If you anticipate needing SSDI in the future, set up a good medical history. This includes receiving treatment early and receiving it often, keeping up with all of your appointments, following each reasonably prescribed treatment, keeping a journal detailing how your injury has affected you, and consulting with specialists when necessary.
- Waiting Too Long to Apply.
Once you become aware of the extent of your injuries, apply for benefits immediately. If you fail to file within a certain period of time after receiving your prognosis, you could risk losing your benefits.
- Waiting Too Long (or Failing) to Appeal.
A majority of SSDI claims are initially denied, but that is oftentimes due to nothing more than a knee-jerk decision by the Social Security Administration. If your claim has been denied, you can and should appeal the decision. However, do not wait to do so. You typically have 60 days from receiving the denial notice to appeal your Social Security Disability claim decision. If you fail to appeal during that time frame, you may be forced to start the application process over and, what is worse, permanently lose the rights to back benefits.
- Drug and/or Alcohol Abuse.
The SSA has strict rules regarding drug and alcohol abuse. If a contributing factor to your disability is substance abuse, the SSA may refuse to hear your case. Furthermore, if they do consider your claim, they are less likely to take you seriously, as, in their eyes, those who abuse drugs and alcohol tend to be less credible as witnesses.
- Failing to Cooperate.
If you do not file the necessary paperwork on time, avoid an evaluation, or ignore letters or phone calls from the SSA, they may deny your application due to lack of cooperation.
- Making Inconsistent Statements.
If your application states that your injury was the result of a car accident, but then later, during a phone call, you claim to have been injured at home, an administrative law judge may lose faith in the credibility of your case and deny your claim. Always be honest when dealing with the SSA, or any insurance company for that matter.
- Representing Yourself.
Very few people think to utilize the help of a Tampa Social Security Disability benefits lawyer, but that’s also why there are so many denials. Working with an lawyer can greatly improve the likelihood that your claim will get approved, as an SSDI lawyer can ensure all of your paperwork is filed correctly and on time. Additionally, a lawyer can look for ways to expedite the decision if you are in need of disability benefits right away.
Contact a Tampa Social Security Disability Lawyer
For many people Social Security Disability Benefits are the only source of income they have while they are injured and unable to work. Because of this, they cannot afford to make even a single mistake on their application or throughout any other aspect of the process. If they do, they risk losing their benefits for good. At The Pendas Law Firm, our Tampa SSDI lawyers have extensive experience in helping clients obtain the disability benefits they need to get back on their feet. If you are disabled and unable to work, do not leave your benefits up to trial and error. Seek the help of a SSDI benefits lawyer for the best possible outcome.
To consult with a Tampa Social Security Disability lawyer, call 1-888-LPENDAS today. The Pendas Law Firm also serves clients in the Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Fort Myers, West Palm Beach, Daytona, Bradenton, and Orlando areas.