When you have a disability that prevents you from working, it can be confusing and stressful to figure out how to apply for benefits. While you may assume getting benefits is easy if you meet all the SSA requirements, it is not always straightforward. Application rejections are possible, especially if you make errors.
A denied claim may simply be because of minor or procedural reasons. If this happens, you may be able to appeal the decision. But it is always easier to try to get it as accurate as possible the first time. Take a look at these mistakes to avoid so you have a better chance of getting approved.
1. Failing to follow doctor recommendations
When you see your doctor or any specialist about your condition, you will receive treatment plans and recommendations. Depending on the disability, this may include one or more of the following:
- Physical therapy
- Lab work
If you fail to follow these instructions and suggestions, the SSA may take the view that you are refusing treatment. Therefore, it may not see your disability as legitimate.
2. Failing to include necessary documents
You must include significant proof of your disability with your application. This shows the SSA the severity of your condition. Documentation and records you may need to submit include doctor notes, diagnoses, X-rays, hospital visits and medical test results.
3. Continuing to work
You may be inclined to stay at your job — enduring the pain and hardships — until you receive benefits so you can be financially stable. However, the SSA will likely see this as evidence you can still work despite your medical condition. At the very least, you should limit your hours. But stopping working altogether is sometimes necessary to showcase the seriousness of your disability.
Receiving a rejection letter from the SSA can be frustrating. If you avoid mistakes during your application, you have a better chance of receiving benefits.