Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides monthly benefits to workers who are unable to work due to critical ailments, which may last for a year or even lead to the worker’s death. It is a component of the Social Security Program that offers retirement benefits to most older Americans.
In simple terms, these benefits are based on the past earnings of disabled workers and are paid to them or their dependent family members. However, when it comes to waiting for these benefits, people with severe disabilities understand how challenging it can be, as delays are a common aspect of SSDI claims.
Sometimes, these delays occur due to common mistakes that people make. Nearly two-thirds of SSDI applicants may face claim denials, and even if they appeal and succeed, they may still need to take additional steps, leading to waiting periods of two years or even longer to receive their disability payments.
Therefore, claimants should have the proper knowledge about the mistakes that need to be avoided when filing for SSDI benefits. In this article, we will discuss the essential mistakes to avoid.
Approaching The Process Without Any Knowledge
Some people mistakenly believe that the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) process is merely about filling out forms and waiting for their checks. It can be an eye-opener for them when they realize the complexities involved in the process.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) lists a five-step assessment process to determine a person’s eligibility for benefits. These steps include:
- The individual must not be gainfully employed, earning $940 or more monthly.
- The physical ailment or condition must hinder the ability to work.
- The condition must be listed in the SSA’s list of disabilities, and the individual must have been disabled for about a year.
- The individual must be incapable of working due to the impairment.
- The individual cannot perform any type of work.
Meeting the first two conditions is crucial for your SSDI claim to be approved. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you thoroughly research and prepare before proceeding with your claim.
Undermining the Effect of the Disability
At times, pride leads people to underestimate the impact of their disabilities. This can be because they have lived with their disabilities for such an extended period that they are well-acquainted with coping mechanisms. However, not everyone comprehends how their impairment affects their daily lives.
There are instances where senior citizens inform the state Disability Determination Service (DDS) that they are responsible for their grandchildren. If they fail to mention that the grandchildren are teenagers, there is a risk that their SSDI claim may be denied. This is because authorities may assume that these individuals can work at a daycare center.
Being Careless About the Deadline
The SSA denies over 60% of the SSDI applications that are filed. However, it’s essential to be aware of the formal appeals process, which consists of three levels. If you are rejected at any of these levels, you have only 2 months (60 days) to appeal to the next level. When claimants miss the deadline, they must start the entire process over.
If you have applied by yourself and been denied benefits, it’s a wise decision to contact an SSDI representative to manage your case. This step will help minimize delays in receiving SSDI benefits.
Not Being Clear About the Work History
It’s important to understand your work expectations and equally crucial to clearly explain and demonstrate why you can no longer perform your tasks, as this is necessary to qualify for SSDI benefits.
In certain professions, such as service technicians, driving for extended periods may be a job requirement. If your disability allows you to drive pain-free for only 10 minutes, but your job demands continuous 60-minute drives, action is needed.
You must accurately complete the SSDI application, specifying your work expectations and any restrictions you must adhere to. Failure to do so may put you in a difficult position, potentially leading to a rejection of your disability claim, as the authorities may assume you can still perform your job.
It is essential not to give up despite delays. TruLaw states that at times people are confused about whether they should apply online or offline for the same. Both procedures require them to share medical records and supporting documents. However, applying online is convenient, and it makes the process more effective and smoother. Instead of excess paperwork, the online process includes sending an email to add ease to the process.
People with disabilities and impairments face daily challenges. Therefore, receiving monetary compensation to cover lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering is highly beneficial. SSDI promises this compensation when applicants meet the necessary criteria.
Unfortunately, there are instances where SSDI claims are denied, even when eligibility criteria are met, causing delays in receiving benefits. To minimize these delays, claimants should avoid the common mistakes mentioned above.