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What Not To Do When Applying For Social Security Disability Benefits

by Theresa Hoffman

You can negatively influence your ability to be approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) if you aren't careful. The application itself and the process to apply can be fraught with opportunities for mistakes. With the approval period being months and months, making an error when you apply could result in an extremely unwelcome delay in getting the financial benefits you need. Read on to find out about some common and easily remedied issues, and send in an accurate and complete application for benefits.

Don't Fall Short With Medical Information

If there was one section of your application that deserves your full attention, it's the medical disorder information. The Social Security Administration (SSA) and the disability determination services need to see verifiable medical information about your disability.

You should spend some time gathering needed medical records, doctor's notes, and diagnostic test results before you complete your application. Provide accurate doctor and facility names, addresses, and phone numbers because the SSA will be checking your facts.

Don't Expect Approvals in Some Cases

The SSA is a government agency and is connected to other government agencies when it comes to fraud. If you have past issues with food stamps, housing assistance, unemployment benefits, government-backed mortgages (FHA, VA, USDA), Medicaid/Medicare, and more, you may be automatically turned down. Be sure to speak to a Social Security attorney for assistance, as there might still be a way to apply and receive benefits with an appeal.

Don't Fudge on Your Educational History

It's a known fact that the SSA is more likely to approve benefits for those with less education. The reasoning is simple: if you have more education, you are more likely to be employable in an alternate vocation regardless of a medical impairment.

Unfortunately, if you lie about your education level on your application, and the SSA finds out, you may have ruined your chances for approval for life. Be honest, and expect the SSA to verify your information.

Be Careful with Your Date of Disability 

Another detail that many applicants gloss over is the date of the disability. This is a very important date because of back pay. This lump sum payment is provided to approved applicants to cover the time between disability and approval. Be sure that you can back up the date you provide with medical and employment records.

This is only a sampling of the many ways to mess up an SSDI application. Many, many people get turned down and must appeal the ruling. Speak to a social security disability attorney about your appeal and be prepared to plead your case with professional help.