Do you have a diagnosis whose symptoms prevent you or a loved one from working on a full-time basis in Massachusetts? You are certainly not alone. The Social Security Administration (SSA) reports that more than 9 million people are receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits nationwide. Unfortunately, navigating the SSD claims process can be very difficult. More than half of initial claims are rejected. Most Americans have no clue how SSA claims are evaluated and how Disability is defined under the SSA Regulations.
Too many people make avoidable mistakes when they apply for their Social Security Disability benefits. At The Social Security Law Group, our Massachusetts-based Attorneys are focused on helping our clients maximize their chances of an award. Here, our Boston Social Security Disability lawyers highlight five mistakes that you need to avoid when filing for Social Security Disability benefits in Massachusetts, or anywhere for that matter.
1.Waiting too Long to Claim Social Security Disability Benefits
Do not wait too long to claim your benefits. Many Americans think they must be out for one full year. Not True. You must have a medical condition that keeps you from working for at least a year. There remains a sizeable information gap. While the SSA will make you wait 5-Months before they disburse your first check. SSI benefits are paid from the date of Application. It’s important to file for Disability benefits as soon as possible. If you’re not sure of these concepts, keep reading.
2. Not Understanding the Difference Between the Two SSD Programs
There are two SSD programs offered by the SSA: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It is important to understand the difference between these two programs and the eligibility requirements for each. While the definition of being medically disabled is identical under both programs, SSDI is based on your FICA payments made through your “on-book” work history. The SSI program is based on financial need, or what SSA calls “Countable Resources”.
3. Submitting an Application With Insufficient Medical Documentation
When applying for SSD benefits, you must have the medical documentation to prove a diagnosis and the limitations it causes you. Many claims are denied for lack of medical documentation. Without sufficient medical evidence, the SSA can deny disability benefits on the grounds that you have failed to establish a qualifying condition. We can help you with this.
4. Giving Up When a Claim is Denied (You Have the Right to Appeal an SSD Denial)
If your SSD claim is denied, and over 2/3 are denied initially, it is important to know that you have the right to appeal that decision. The appeals process can be just as complicated and time-consuming, but you only have Sixty (60) days to appeal, or you must start over. Once denied, you can file a Reconsideration of your claim, and if denied a second time, you can request a Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. A MA, Social Security disability appeals lawyer can help. There are a lot of non-attorney “advocates” in this space. Be sure you’re calling a Law Firm and whose Attorneys will represent you before the ALJ.
5. Trying to Navigate the Claims Process Alone
Too many Americans we suspect in an effort to save money attempt to navigate the SSD claims process on their own. We have 30 years of proof that a wiser decision is to get professional help from the start. If you are unable to work due to a medical condition, or you’re simply not sure if you’d qualify, call us. Many of our Clients receive Short (STD) and Long Term Disability (LTD). Your Disability Carrier will attempt to set you up with assistance with the SSDI process. This critical choice is always yours! We can assist you just as well, if not better. Our Fee for winning your case will be at no cost to you, just the same as if you hired the Long Term Disability Carrier’s “Vendor”.
Contact Our Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer Today
At the Social Security Law Group, our Massachusetts Social Security Disability lawyers are standing by, ready to help you secure the maximum benefits. If you have any questions about filing for SSDI or SSI benefits, we are for you. Contact us today to set up your free, confidential consultation. We provide Social Security Disability representation in Boston, Suffolk County, and throughout Massachusetts, and New England.