Common Mistakes - Keeping inaccurate information after denial

You may have made it through the daunting and complicated process of applying for Social Security disability benefits only to have your claim denied. This is not a reason to be discouraged from pursuing the benefits you may qualify for, as roughly 70% of initial applications for SSDI are denied. Understanding why your claim was denied is an important step, before you make the same mistake again and are forced to wait even longer for an appeal hearing.

One of the major reasons most claimants are denied by the SSA the first time they apply is a lack of accurate or sufficient information. What many Social Security disability applicants don’t realize is that the medical details associated with the disease or disability they are suffering from must be completely accurate in their application. The SSA doesn’t only look for accurate personal background information and employment records. They are mostly focused on determining whether the medical evidence you present as proof of your disability sufficiently meets their guidelines, as detailed in the Blue Book Listing of Impairments.

The Blue Book Listing of Impairments contains the specific symptoms, required severity of symptoms, and medical diagnoses required to qualify for SSDI with each particular disease. It is important that your healthcare professional is aware that you are applying for disability benefits, and has a thorough understanding of blue book requirements. The wording on your medical documents must be as exact and specific as possible. There also shouldn’t be any contradictions or differing conclusions in examination records received from several doctors.

All medical information presented in your application should point to the fact that your condition is disabling according to the SSA’s definition. Symptoms of diseases and the limitations of physical impairments must clearly show that you are unable to support yourself by maintaining steady work and are in desperate need of assistance. If medical evidence you present with your first application for disability benefits is not sufficient enough, and there are no errors, you may want to be examined by other doctors that are more specialized or experienced. Your physician may not be experienced enough with your condition to properly diagnose it.

In no case should you re-submit the same information again without improving it or correcting any errors. This is a sure way to waste time, both yours and the SSA’s. When the SSA received a request for reconsideration, they expect that there is either new, previously un-presented information to improve your case, or that there were errors corrected.

Knowing the documentation that is needed and how to best present it in the way the SSA prefers and favors can be difficult. That is why it is recommended to employ the assistance of a legal professional that specializes in disability cases. The chances are that you are new to the world of applying for disability benefits, whereas these lawyers have often had years of experience in helping clients receive a positive determination for Social Security disability benefits. In addition, disability lawyers often have recommendations on which physicians to be examined by. They may have had experience with doctors whose evaluations are habitually unfavorable to their clients, and can help you avoid them.

The process of applying for SSDI does not have to be complicated or daunting. The SSA website as well as various disability lawyer sites can help you determine exactly what you need to present your case favorably. The most important things to remember are to follow guidelines exactly, and double-check your information. Even if you are denied, don’t give up. Locate the weaknesses in your application and if necessary, seek help in improving them.