Social security disability is a great source of reliable income for people who can no longer work full-time in their chosen profession, but obtaining it isn't as clear-cut as it may seem. Even when your case is as simple as can be on the surface, it's possible to get your disability claim denied on a technicality. Below are some unexpected small oversights that may turn out to be serious enough to sink your first claim.
Your Doctor Rushes through Your Medical Records
Patients are used to trusting their physicians to do the right thing, but complying with complex reporting requirements from a government office like the Social Security Administration (SSA) is very different than filling out standard paperwork. To ensure that the SSA has access to the right information, get treated by the same doctors – to avoid discrepancies from different offices – and let them know right away that you plan to file for disability benefits.
The only exception to this rule is if the SSA requests you see an approved medical professional. Since it's a sure sign that something important is missing from your personal doctor's files, you'll want to keep your official appointment at all costs.
Your Injury Looks Less Serious on Paper Than It Actually Is
Proving a long-term injury is at the core of social security disability benefits, but what about cases on the cusp of the agency's time limits? If you have broken bones, you're likely to get denied on your first try simply because bones are expected to fully heal, but that doesn't mean you aren't entitled to financial help. Fractures that are still severe at the six-month mark are likely to last past the 12-month period the SSA requires to clear benefit payments. The trick is that it's up to you to prove that your fracture is no ordinary broken bone.
You're Hard to Reach
From lost letters to new phone numbers, there are many reasons why claimants sometimes fall out of touch with the SSA. Waiting is part of the process, so it can be hard to tell whether you're really up-to-date with communications. The problem is that with so many cases to review, the SSA expects you to be the one who stays connected at all times. Missed mail can ultimately mean missed exams and information inquiries – causes enough to get your claim's denial rubber-stamped.
If you want to make sure that nothing slips through the cracks, you can appoint an attorney to handle all of your correspondence with the SSA.
In general, while you can always appeal a denial, retaining the services of an experienced social security disability attorney like J W Chalkley III PA is the best way to avoid hiccups from the start. With an expert on your side, you'll have the peace of mind that you aren't doing anything that could potentially jeopardize your access to benefits down the road.
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