It was announced recently that at the end of FY 2013 that 680,000 applicants were waiting for a preliminary decision from the Social Security Administration (SSA) on their request for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. A majority of those who apply for SSDI benefits, which are awarded to those who suffer from long-term physical and/or mental disabilities that preclude them from working, are turned down on their initial application. After being rejected, many decide to utilize the services of a disability lawyer in the appeal process.
The SSA (Social Security Administration) projects by the end of FY2014, which occurs in September, that the number of people who will be waiting on a first decision could reach 900,000. As noted in an earlier blog, the SSA has reduced its workforce by 11,000 over the past three years, and this has contributed to longer processing times on all levels. For those who decide to apply for disability benefits on their own, delays in receiving benefits can be extended due to common mistakes made by those applicants.
There are various mistakes that people commonly make when they file for SSDI, including still working when applying for benefits or simultaneously filing for unemployment benefits. Remember, SSDI is for those who are suffering from some type of injury that is considered to be long-term, affecting them for 12 months or longer. If you can work or if you are looking for work, which is why one would file for unemployment, then you are negating your need for help through SSDI.
Another common mistake made by applicants is that they decide to not seek medical help for physical or mental problems that are affecting them. A major way in which one proves that they have a disability that’s affecting them is by seeing a doctor for help. Also, it’s important to take medications and undergo any treatments that are prescribed by your doctor.
Finally, applicants will often not check the status of their application, or they don’t adhere to appeal deadlines that are set by the SSA. It’s important to check on your application, as you may discover that it’s being delayed due to the need for you to take some form of action. After having your social secuirty disability claim denied initially, missing your appeal deadline can be devastating, as you’ll lose your ability to qualify for benefits to which you may be entitled.
An experienced social security disability lawyer will monitor your application, inform you of its progress as it goes through the system, and, if it is turned down in the first stage, represent you throughout the appeal process. They will also ensure that your original application is complete and will work to make sure that you do not make any of the common mistakes noted above.
Many people are concerned about being able to pay their lawyer. The fact is lawyers who work in this area do so on a contingency basis, which means they do not get paid until you do. They receive a percentage of what you are awarded and are paid for expenses incurred while representing your claim.
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If you have questions concerning your disability, the SSA, and SSDI, then please contact Fetterman & Associates at 561-845-2510 today. We will setup a free, no obligation consultation, discuss your disability claim, and review the SSDI process. There’s no need to deal with your disability and the SSA on your own. Utilize the services of someone who knows all aspects of the system and who will be a major factor in cutting back on any delays.
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