Common mistakes to avoid on a disability benefits claim - Part 1
Most of us would like to succeed after our first effort. Take the case an applicant for Social Security disability insurance benefits. One can maximize their prospects for a favorable decision at the initial decision level or one can pursue his or her administrative appeals after an initial denial. Because of the lengthy waiting times for an appeal hearing (discussed in a recent post), every effort should be made to obtain a favorable decision on the first try.
In addition, each subsequent step in the administrative appeal process will require additional evidence and/or even more persuasive advocacy. Accordingly, our disability benefits law firm is committed to helping applicants submit the strongest claim possible with their first submission.
In that regard, our website offers advice on mistakes to avoid when preparing an SSDI claim. First, individuals might be uncertain of whether they qualify under the SSA's definition of a disability: one or more medical conditions that prevent sustained work and that is expected to last for at least one year. However, that uncertainty should not translate into inactivity. Don't assume that you won't qualify for SSDI benefits; leave that determination up to us. Accordingly, we advise individuals to apply for SSDI benefits as soon as they anticipate their condition will put them out of work.
Submitting an early claim goes hand-in-hand with seeking advice early in the process. The SSA offers a great deal of information on its website and through its field offices. Speaking with an experienced disability attorney before the application is filed, however, will help claimants improve their prospects for success. Because this is so important, our firm offers to review initial SSA disability applications before they are filed without cost or obligation.
Finally, keeping good medical records will expedite an early claim approval. Although the SSA claims examiner may hire an independent medical examiner or take steps to obtain evidence to assist in the disability determination, don't assume that is it the SSA's responsibility to obtain a claimant's treatment records. In this regard, as well, an attorney can help ensure that the SSA has been sent all relevant medical records and supporting medical opinion.
If you have questions about whether you might qualify for Social Security disability insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits, our law firm can offer specific advice in your case. Call the Philadelphia Social Security Disability attorneys of the Disability Benefits Law Center for a free consultation at 1-866-886-0660.