Disability Advocates Group provides comprehensive legal services to disabled individuals in Southern California. We have a well-deserved reputation for providing our clients with powerful representation and caring, efficient service. Our disability attorneys regularly help clients navigate the Social Security system and can help you avoid the common mistakes of applying for disability benefits. When you consult us, we will be there for you every step of the way, fighting for the benefits you deserve.
Examples of Application Mistakes & How To Avoid Them
Filing an application for Social Security disability benefits can be complicated and confusing. There are strict eligibility requirements and the majority of initial claims are denied. To qualify for SSDI, you must have acquired enough work credits based on your age. Similarly, there are stringent income and asset limits for obtaining SSI.
Initial claims can be denied for technical reasons such as an SSDI applicant not meeting the work credit requirement or an SSI claimant not passing the means test. In addition, disability claims can be denied because of the following common application mistakes:
Filing a Disability Claim While Working
There is no rule against working when filing a disability claim, however, you must be able to prove that you are unable to perform substantial gainful activity (SGA). A person who earns more than a certain amount each month is considered to be engaging in SGA and is ineligible for disability benefits.
Social Security has established an income threshold for determining SGA that is adjusted annually. In 2020, the SGA for non-blind SSDI and SSI applicants is $1,260 per month and the SGA for blind SSDI applicants is $2,110 per month. SGA does not apply to blind SSI applicants, however, they are subject to the SSI income limits.
If you have monthly earnings that exceed this threshold when you apply for disability benefits, your claim will be denied.
Not Providing Sufficient Medical Evidence
A disability claim must be supported by medical evidence, such as
- Exam history
- Lab work (e.g. blood tests, tissue specimens)
- Radiological tests (X-rays, MRIs, CT Scans)
- Results of surgeries
- Prescribed medications
- Rehabilitative care/physical therapy
- Diagnosis and prognosis of your condition
If you do not provide medical information that supports your claim, you may be required to undergo one or more consultative exams by an independent doctor.
At Disability Advocates Group, we are knowledgeable in the Social Security’s rules and regulations that disability examiners rely on to determine if a condition is severe enough to qualify for disability benefits.
Failing to Follow Doctor’s Instructions
The disability examiner who reviews your claim will verify that you are receiving medical treatment and assess how you have responded to it. If you are not receiving treatment or fail to follow your doctor’s treatment instructions (e.g. taking prescribed medications, going for rehabilitation), your claim will likely be denied. Therefore, it is imperative to stick to the treatment regime recommended by your doctor to avoid this costly application mistake.
Not Having an Attorney Check Your Application
The best way to avoid the common mistakes of applying for disability benefits is to enlist the services of an adept disability lawyer. An attorney can guide you through the disability claims process, ensure that your application is completed accurately, handle your appeal, represent you at the disability hearing, and file a lawsuit in federal court if necessary. There’s no need to worry about attorneys’ fees either. A Disability Advocates Group, we handle all disability claims on a contingency basis: if your claim is denied, you pay nothing to us.
Contact Our Experienced Los Angeles Disability Lawyers
Given the challenges of applying for disability benefits, it is crucial to have proper legal representation. A Disability Advocates Group, we have a proven history of helping our clients obtain the benefits they deserve. Our disability lawyers understand the eligibility requirements for SSDI and SSI and know their way around the Social Security system. Our legal team is determined to help you obtain the benefits you need and deserve. If you are seeking disability benefits, don’t go it alone. Please contact our office today to learn how we can help.