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SSI and SSDI - 5 Mistakes you may be making

Have you been trying to get SSDI or SSI benefits for years and keep getting turned down? Did you know that up to 70% of claimants are denied the first time they apply? Are you wondering what you can do different to help get disability benefits faster? Surprisingly, for many SSDI or SSI claimants a few minor changes and eliminating common mistakes on their disability application may make all the difference. Let’s review the top 5 mistakes that disability claimants often make.

 1.    Not listing all of your health conditions.

Every day on our disability forum we get questions about whether or not a claimant should list their mental disorders or their physical disorders on their SSI or SSDI application. The answer is list every condition that you have which reduces your capability to work.

The SSA maintains a list of all the conditions is considers automatically disabling. This list is called the SSA Listing of Impairments. Many claimants do not have a condition which “meets or exceeds” a condition on this list, but all their conditions, in their totality, do not leave enough residual capacity for the claimant to work, and the claimant may be able to win SSI or SSDI benefits through what the SSA calls a medical vocational allowance.

2.    Not listing all of your doctors.

If you have completed the SSDI or SSI application and have not listed all of your doctors, you have committed one of the most common mistakes. Make sure all of your doctor’s information (name, address, and phone number) are correct. If you do not provide accurate contact information the SSA cannot contact your doctors and get your medical records. If they do not have your medical records they will not have proof of your health conditions and they will not be able to determine that you are disabled.

3.    Leaving parts of the application blank.

Every question which is asked by the SSA serves a purpose. Even if you are wondering why they need to know something it is better to fill in the information. Do not get lazy; this is your future. Providing the right information the first time can eliminate weeks of waiting time.

4.    Not telling the truth

Whether you are hiding embarrassing medical information or overstating the seriousness of your health conditions, it is never a good idea to lie or to misrepresent yourself. The SSA will be looking at your medical records to validate the information you have included on your application so it is important to always tell the truth.

5.    Expecting the SSA to do all of the work.

The SSA is flooded with millions of applications for SSI and SSDI each year. Do not expect them to do all of the work. If you have not heard from them in a few months, call them. Follow up with your doctors and make sure they have submitted your medical records to the SSA.

If the SSA calls you or sends you something to fill out, send it back as quickly as possible. If you are denied at the application level, talk to a disability lawyer and find out what you can do to improve your chances of winning benefits.

By reducing common mistakes and following these five basic steps can greatly increase your chances of winning SSDI or SSI benefits.
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