Mistakes People Make When Filing For Disability

The number of people on disability has been increasing rapidly throughout the years. In the early 90's the ratio of workers to those on disability was 35.5:1. By 2012, the ratio changed to 16.3:1. So why is it so difficult for those who need disability to actually receive it? These skyrocketing numbers may be the cause. The number of people on disability is so alarming; they want to ensure people aren't receiving disability when they don't actually need it. If you are trying to file for disability, know these common mistakes that people make when filing their claim.

Not Understanding Eligibility

To receive disability benefits, there are specific requirements that you have to meet. First, you have to have a medical condition that meets the definitely of disability by the United States government. To be considered disabled, you have to:

  • Be unable to do work that you did before
  • Be unable to adjust to another type of wok because of your condition
  • Your condition must be expected to last a year or result in death

Along with having a disabling condition, you have to be covered by social security. To be covered, you have to work long enough to be entitled to benefits. As you earn money, you earn credits toward social security benefits. Usually you need 40 credits, and 20 of them need to be earned within the past 10 years. If you are disabled at a young age, you can usually qualify with fewer credits.

Not Appealing Denials Quickly

It's not uncommon to become denied the first time you apply for disability. In fact, some people are even denied several times before finally receiving their benefits. If you receive a denial letter it's important that you appeal your claim immediately. You paperwork will state how long you have to file an appeal (usually 60 days). If your appeal time lapses, you have to start you disability claim over again from the beginning. Don't let anything going on in your life allow you to miss the deadline. You can appeal your case as many times as you like, keep fighting.

Not Listening To Your Doctors

When you file for disability, you back up your claims with your medical records. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will look at many different factors. Not only will they check that your conditions are in fact listed as diagnosed in your records, they will read the notes on recommendations from your doctor and if you have been following your doctor's orders. If your doctor prescribed you treatments and medications that you failed to take or follow through on, the SSA may assume that your conditions are not as severe as you are making them out to be. They will most likely assume that you aren't taking medications or receiving treatments because you don't really need them. Ensure that you have been following your doctor's orders before filing for disability. If you haven't been then start now. You don't want to make a simple mistake that will hurt your claim.

Making Too Much Money

Maybe you have found a way to make some money while you are working on your disability. It could be something simple like selling crafts online and supplementing your income short-term. It seems like an innocent thing to do so you can pay the bills while waiting for your disability to come through, but making too much money can hurt you. While many people think you can't make any money while applying for disability, this isn't true. You are allowed to make a small amount of money while applying and while receiving disability. If you are not blind, you can make less than $1,090 per month. If you are blind, you can make up to $1,820 per month.

Applying for disability can be a long and difficult process. You don't want to do anything that will make it even more difficult. If you aren't confident in your ability to do all of this properly on your own, be sure to contact a disability lawyer. Click here for more information.