Our Guide to Avoiding Common Mistakes
When you can’t work because of health issues, it affects your whole life.
Sure, your health becomes a focal point. But how are you going to pay your bills without an income? Your bills don’t have any sympathy for you—they keep arriving, month after month.
In your search for solutions, Social Security Disability benefits became your best option. The monthly checks help people like you avoid a financial nightmare. They let you focus on the most important part of your life: your health.
Winning benefits can be hard. Many applicants are denied on their first try.
At Angelina Valle & Associates, we often see clients walk through our door bewildered after a rejection.
Our tips for how you can avoid the most common mistakes we encounter:
Fill Out Your Forms Correctly
We see this most often—and it’s the easiest mistake to fix. But it’s a little harder than just filling out a couple of forms.
No, you have to sort through a mound of paperwork, making sure each nugget of information included is right and presented correctly. It sounds like a simple task, but it’s also easy to screw it up.
Cooperate with Social Security
Often, clients will complain to us about the people they dealt with at the Social Security Administration. Maybe they were rude while questioning you, or even made you feel uncomfortable during the process.
Unfortunately, you don’t have much leeway here. In order to win benefits, you have to cooperate with SSA officials no matter what. You’ll need to answer their questions honestly, give them access to your medical records and more.
Present the Right Evidence
To win your claim, you’ll need to clearly prove your disability prevents you from working. That means every shred of medical evidence available must be included.
If there’s any doubt to your condition on your application, a swift denial will be issued. A few of the items you’ll need to include on your application:
- Hospital records
- Doctor’s reports
- Treatment information
- Testimonials from coworkers, friends and family
- And more
Make Sure You’re Applying for the Correct Program
Another error we see: applicants confused about the two different kinds of Social Security Disability benefits.
It’s understandable. Here are the two programs and what they represent:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is meant for those with a significant enough work history who have paid enough taxes into the Social Security system over their career.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI), on the other hand, is meant for those with limited income and/or those who struggle with disability from a young age.
If you file your claim requesting the wrong benefits, you’ll likely be denied. Make sure you know which program is right for you and your family.
Seek Consistent Medical Treatment
This is related to the medical evidence you provide. If that shows you aren’t getting regular treatment for the issue that’s forced you out of work, Social Security will most likely deny your claim.
Social Security labels this “treatment non-compliance.” Their logic? If you followed your treatment plan, you’d theoretically be well enough to work.
So follow your doctor’s orders. Your future could depend on it.
Hire a Social Security Disability Lawyer
We know this can sound like a lot, because it is.
Aren’t you the one dealing with health issues? Adding financial stress on top of your situation is almost cruel. You deserve better.
If you’re going through this process, hiring an experienced disability lawyer is crucial to improving your chances of winning. An attorney can help you avoid common mistakes, help you gather evidence, and guide you through the appeals process if your initial claim is denied.
Don’t take a chance when it comes to something so important. And if you’re in Salinas, San Jose, or anywhere in the Bay Area and need help with disability benefits, call Angelina Valle today.