Unfortunately, millions of people are dealing with a disability that prevents them from working. If you have become disabled and need to apply for disability benefits, you must to know how the process works. This prevents issues from arising that either prevent or slow down your ability to collect benefits. Here are the 10 most common mistakes people make when applying for long term disability.
1. Not Doing Your Homework
There is much more to applying for disability benefits than just filling out paperwork and sending it. Always do your homework so that you know what kinds of benefits you are entitled to. Learn the requirements for qualifying for those benefits so that you can get them once you receive your benefits.
2. Not Checking the Status of Your Claim Regularly
It’s a mistake to not check on the status of your claim on a regular basis. This is because checking it regularly will speed up the process of your case and any mistakes will be caught earlier. Call your claims examiner every so often to get updates on your case.
3. Collecting Unemployment Benefits
When you apply for long term disability benefits, it says that you are unable to work because you have a physical or mental disability. However, if you file for unemployment, it sends the message that you are perfectly able to work if you are able to find a job. Collecting unemployment carries the requirement that you find appropriate work.
4. Not Taking Prescribed Medication
If you do not take medication that was prescribed for your disability, it harms your credibility and can put your application for disability benefits at risk. The Social Security Administration will see this as your condition not being severe enough to warrant being on disability.
5. Missing Appeals Deadline
If your claim is denied, you have 90 calendar days from the date you get your notice of denial to request an appeal. Failing to appeal before that date means you have to start fresh and file a new claim.
6. Exaggerating Your Disability
Exaggerating your disability can lead to a problem when your examiner looks at your medical records and compares them to your claim. Always be honest.
7. Performing a Substantial Amount of Work While Applying
When you’re trying to get long term disability, you shouldn’t have what’s called substantial gainful employment. Prior to 2014, what is considered substantial gainful employment was determined on a case by case basis but it is now determined by amount earned. As of 2016, the maximum amount is $1,290.81 per month or $15,489.72 per year. It is important to understand this limit and not exceed it otherwise you may jeopardize your claim.
8. Not Receive Adequate and Regular Medical Treatment
It’s important to seek regular medical treatment for your condition and it must be adequate, or you may not qualify for disability benefits. You need concrete proof of your condition and that it makes it impossible for you to work.
9. Trying to Handle Your Case Alone
You simply cannot handle your case alone. If your claim is denied, you should hire an attorney to help you appeal the decision. It is never smart to tackle the complications of law without an expert to guide you through it.
10. Being Vague About Employment History
Not including your full employment history on your claim can put your chances of being approved for disability at risk. Examiners will closely look at your work history to see if you would be able to return to work or if your condition would prevent it.
Always be thorough when applying for long term disability benefits. It will help your chances at being approved.