Social Security benefits are designed to help multiple groups of Americans, including the disabled. The Social Security system exists to protect the vulnerable in our society. Millions of people collect social security benefits every year, with the largest group of claimants being retirees.
However, the Social Security Administration denies a high percentage of all applications for disability benefits. Fortunately, there are steps you can take and mistakes you can avoid in order to gain the benefits to which you are entitled.
Don’t Be Ashamed of Workplace Injuries
After getting injured on the job, it is normal to blame yourself for your injury. That blame may lead you to believe that your injury was something unique or a rare accident. However, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more than 100 people died each week in a workplace accident in 2018.
For workplace injuries that do not result in fatalities, the numbers are equally grim. The U.S. Bureau of Labor cites 2.8 non-fatal injuries out of every 100 full-time workers in 2019. The Social Security Administration is not turning you down because your injury is rare. On the contrary, being unable to work due to your workplace injury is something that happens to millions of Americans each year.
Do Not Underestimate the Severity of Your Disability
Discussing your injury can be uncomfortable. You may not wish to reveal exactly how devastating your disability is to your ability to function. Or perhaps you have been coping with a condition for so long that you have simply gotten used to dealing with it.
However, it is important that you’re honest about how much the disability has left you unable to work. If not, you will likely continue to face a denial from the Social Security Administration. For those who need help with certain tasks, or who are no longer able to perform basic duties such as cleaning, taking care of children, or walking without assistance, it is vital that this information be included in your claim.
Make Sure You Provide Sufficient Medical Proof
One of the most common reasons that the Social Security Administration will deny your application for benefits is due to the lack of medical evidence of your disability.
The medical proof must include:
- What type of disability you have;
- How severe the disability is;
- How long you have been experiencing the disability;
- What type of mental and physical work activities you are capable of performing.
Always Follow a Treatment Plan
You must be able to demonstrate that you have been following your medical provider’s recommended treatment plan when you file for Social Security Administration benefits. Following their guidelines will serve as further proof that you are unable to work due to the severity of your condition.
However, if you are ignoring your medical provider’s treatment plan, the Social Security Administration may argue that your disability is not severe enough to keep you from working.
Do Appeal and Don’t Give Up
Social Security benefits are highly regulated. They often reject or deny your initial claim. In fact, in 2016, only two-thirds of Social Security claims were approved. However, being denied benefits doesn’t mean it is time to give up. There is an appeal process, and it is important that you use that process.
Make sure to appeal before the deadline. If you miss the appeal deadline, you will have to start the process all over again and will likely get denied a second time.
Don’t Handle the Process Alone
The Social Security Administration has a lot of rules, and getting approved can be a stressful process. The best way to reduce your own personal stress is to hire an experienced attorney who can help make sure that your claim is strong and adheres to the requirements of the Administration.
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