If you’ve decided it’s time to apply for Social Security benefits the first step to get approved for disability benefits is to complete the Social Security Disability application. The Social Security Administration (SSA) requests a lot of information from you in this application, it’s extremely important you don’t make a mistake. This information helps the agency make a decision about your disability claim. Some of the most common mistakes applicants make when filling out the disability application are:
Filling out the initial application is your first chance to tell your story to the SSA. This means you need to be as specific and detailed as you can on the application. Talk about your medical conditions and all of your limitations. Both physical and mental health limitations are important.
The SSA will use the information you provide to go out and get more evidence for your claim. For example, this means they will use the names, dates, and contact information that you provide to go search for your medical records. The SSA will generally order records from up to 1 year before you told them that your disability began. If you leave out some medical providers’ contact information, they will not know to go and search for those records. This may affect their decision about whether to declare you disabled.
Forgetting to supply information about any medical issue, whether old or new, is another frequent mistake. The SSA will consider any medical condition that limits the type of work you can do. This includes both mental and physical conditions. If you do not provide a complete list of your conditions, the SSA will not know to consider these problems. That means they will have an incomplete picture of how disabled you really are.
Another common mistake people make is providing incorrect information on the Social Security Disability application. With all the information you are asked to gather, it’s understandable that you could accidentally give wrong names or dates. It is essential that you be as accurate as you can. Filling out the wrong names or dates, or failing to answer questions, is a mistake that can cause delays or even lead to a denial of benefits.
If you come across a question that is not relevant to your claim, mark it as “not applicable” or “N/A” on the form. This way the SSA knows you have read the question, but it is not one that applies to your claim.
Often, additional information is requested by the SSA through forms that are sent in the mail. These forms must be completed and returned by the date indicated on the form. Sometimes, the turnaround time required is as little as 10 days. If you miss this deadline, your claim could be denied.
Make sure you are checking your mail every day once you have sent in your application. You don’t want to miss one of these notices.
If you can’t fill out the forms and return them by the deadline, contact your local Social Security office. They may be able to get you an extension. If you aren’t sure what your local office’s contact information is, call us at 1-800-433-0283 and we will let you know.
Applying for disability benefits can seem overwhelming. Use these tips to make the Social Security application process a little easier. If you do make a mistake in the application process, it is possible to submit additional information or corrections later on. Remember, if your disability claim is denied, we can help. Give us a call today.
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