The Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits application process is complicated. The regulations governing the requirements can be difficult to understand. A simple mistake on the application can get it denied and then you're faced with an even more difficult appeals process. Your best chances at getting the application approved the first time it's submitted is to use an attorney who specializes in social security disability law. Here are some of the key areas that an attorney will help you with to make sure you receive the requested SSDI benefits.
Income Reporting and Limits
The Social Security Administration has set limits on the amount of income you can receive and the sources of income to be eligible for SSDI benefits. If you over report your income, your application will automatically be denied. Your lawyer will help you understand which income should be reported so you are under the legal limit. For example, money you get as contract labor helping to clear yard debris from a property must be included, but money you receive from friends and family as a gift should not be included.
Indicating the Length of Your Disability
Your physical disability must keep you away from work for at least one year. Your application for benefits and all of the supporting health care provider reports and notes must agree. If one of your doctors suggests that treatment can get you back to work in less than one year, your application may be denied. Your social security attorney will work with the health care providers to make sure that all documentation is in agreement that you will be disabled for a year or longer.
Including Relative Medical History
If the social security application reviewers believe that you have withheld medical history that they think is relevant to your application, it will be denied. Your lawyer will help you to understand what information must be included. For example, if you see your family physician and receive prescription-strength allergy medication, the reviewers will want to know that, especially if your disability was caused by an auto accident since those medications can cause drowsiness, which may have contributed to the accident.
Showing Compliance With All Recommended Treatment
If the application and supporting notes indicate that you failed to follow up with any treatment advice, it may be denied even though you had a good reason for your decision. The treatment may not have been covered by your insurance and been too expensive. Or treatment may have been at a facility that was too difficult to get to. Your lawyer will know how to document these choices so as not to affect the approval of your application for benefits.