Filing a claim to receive Social Security Disability benefits is not a simple undertaking. Unfortunately, the process is quite complex and there are lots of ways to get snagged on something and lose days or even weeks trying to figure out what went wrong so that you can correct it.
If you want to avoid as many delays and denials as possible then you need to make sure that you have a solid foundation from which to begin. The best way of doing that is to consider what mistakes people commonly make and avoid them. Likewise, looking at some tips for improving your claim is also useful. But many people’s first mistake is assuming that the process will move quickly. Let’s start there by looking at when you should apply for SSD benefits.
When Should I Apply For SSD?
It’s important to understand that SSD benefits take time. The process of applying can be long and tedious, which means that the process itself can stretch on near infinitely if things aren’t done properly. But assuming that you work with an attorney to ensure that everything is correct and in place first, it will still take time.
Five months, to be exact. There is a five month waiting period for SSD benefits. This is in addition to any time spent waiting for approval. So let’s see that in action. Say you submit the SSD application but it takes two months to find out you are approved. The five month waiting period begins from the date on which you became disabled. You will have to wait for the sixth full month of disability to start seeing payments.
SSD benefits need to be considered on this timeframe. They aren’t going to put money in your bank account today, tomorrow, next month, or even the next few months. That will come later. It’s valuable to apply as soon as you realize you’re going to need them because it’s already going to take some time before you see the benefit anyway.
What Mistakes Are Common When Filing an SSD Claim?
There are a number of common mistakes that people make when filing an SSD claim. But by making yourself aware of these mistakes, you can ensure that you avoid making them yourselves.
Common mistakes include:
- Filing for Unemployment Benefits: While unemployment benefits may be able to get you money sooner, it will also mess up your SSD claim. When you file for unemployment, you are telling the system that you are capable of working but are having trouble finding work. SSD benefits are for those who are unable to work and so being approved for unemployment benefits would be in direct contradiction to the eligibility requirements established by the Social Security Administration.
- Submitting Faulty Records: If you want to get approved then you have to have medical records that indicate that you have a condition that meets with the SSA’s strict definition of a disability. However, you must always submit real and accurate records. If you submit a faulty record to make your condition look worse then it will come back to haunt you through a denial of your claim.
- Waiting Too Long to Appeal: Having a claim get denied sucks. But it isn’t the end of the world. You are able to appeal that denial within sixty days by filing a Request for Reconsideration. There are even more ways to appeal if this reconsideration is denied. But if you assume there’s nothing you can do and you wait too long, then you’ll have made your belief into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
- Trying to Do It All Alone: Going at it alone is never a smart choice. It’s always better to work on your application with an experienced attorney like those at Walton Law. An attorney can help you to ensure everything meets proper standards and this greatly improves your chances of getting approved without extra hassles.
What Tips Should I Know for Filing an SSD Claim?
It’s not all negative. There are also a number of steps that you can take to improve your SSD claim. These are also helpful to keep in mind when filing.
Useful tips include:
- Listing Everything: Make sure that you list all of your medical problems, no matter how severe. Old injuries are important, too. We often forget about mobility and function we lost previously when it was something that didn’t affect our work. But it’s often in conjunction with new issues that we have the worst problems.
- Being Realistic and Honest: Answer honestly and realistically about what you are capable of doing. Also keep an honest and realistic view of the process that you’re going through, understanding that it will take time and may be a cause of short-term frustration.
- Being Responsive: Answers all questions quickly and clearly. If you are called or written to with requests for new or elaborated information then get back to them quickly. The longer you wait to reply, the longer the process is being stretched out.
- Communicating: It’s important to communicate. You will need to speak to your doctors, to social security experts, to your attorney, and probably a few others. This is a process, not just something that happens over night. It is important to communicate with everyone involved.
What Should I Do If I’m Considering Filing an SSD Claim?
The best thing you can do is to work with an attorney from Walton Law, an attorney that understands the challenges of claims like yours. Working with an attorney is not necessary, however it is highly recommended.
As we mentioned above, this is a long process and one that can be quite frustrating. One of the ways that you can make it easier is to work with an experienced attorney that understands what paperwork is necessary, what information you need to provide evidence of, and what actions will slow down or even halt the process entirely. By working with an attorney from Walton Law, you’ll be able to rest easily in the knowledge that they’ll contact you with any challenges they encounter and they’ll help you handle anything that comes up.