Your health problems have gotten worse. While you were able to function in the past, it’s gotten bad enough that you’ve had to cease many of your everyday activities.
You can’t go to work and earn a living, either.
You don’t know how you’re going to pay the bills. But you know that if you could push through your disability claim with the Social Security Administration (SSA), you could receive monthly checks to cover important expenses—and you could rest easier.
But you’ve already applied and you were denied. Now, you have the chance to appeal, but you aren’t sure what to do.
Below are five mistakes people make when they’re appealing a disability denial in Madison, along with information on how to make sure your claim has a better chance of success.
You can also talk to our disability lawyers for help. Disability law is all we do.
Applying for disability benefits is no easy task. You have to fill out form after form, provide evidence of your condition, and communicate with the SSA, which makes it difficult to get approved.
After you spent all that time applying, you may not have the energy to launch into appealing your denial. Aren’t they just going to deny you again anyway?
Giving up is a big mistake. You should always appeal. Perhaps you were denied for something like not filling out your entire application, and if you only did that you could be approved.
You may be able to address the problem that got you denied. Appealing could give you a better chance at approval. You could be one or two more steps away.
Though it can be exhausting, keep fighting for the benefits you deserve.
When you appeal a decision, the SSA might request that you provide them with more evidence showing that you, in fact, meet Social Security’s definition of disability—and that you can’t work because of your medical impairments.
SO DON’T SKIP GATHERING ALL OF THIS MATERIAL (MISTAKE NO. 2):
Typically, you’ll have to show medical records, reports from doctor visits, test results, prescriptions you’re on, results from treatment plans, and other relevant medical information. If you do not provide enough proof, your appeal might fail.
Every type of health impairment requires different evidence, so make sure to provide what’s the most relevant to your case.
AND DON’T SKIP THE MEDICAL TREATMENT THAT CREATES YOUR EVIDENCE (MISTAKE NO. 3):
All that evidence you need comes from going to the doctor. When you have a serious health problem, you need more frequent medical care. The more you go, the more proof you have of your condition.
If you rarely go, or you neglect going because of financial issues or other concerns, then the SSA might not think you need disability benefits. Claims examiners may think your condition isn’t serious enough, or you aren’t taking it seriously.
For an appeal to succeed, show them you’re doing everything you can to manage your medical issues, but that your health still makes working impossible.
People receive disability benefits because they cannot work anymore or switch to another line of work, and the reason is their health.
So if you need financial help from disability benefits, this is a mistake:
EARNING A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT FROM WORK (MISTAKE NO. 4):
If an applicant is still working and earning an amount that Social Security considers substantial, they’re going to be disqualified.
You’re in a tough situation. When you’re appealing a disability denial, you may be facing a long wait for benefits. If you can still work and earn some income, it could help you stay afloat.
But you have to be careful not to work so much that Social Security decides you don’t need disability benefits at all.
Here’s another way you can stumble if you’ve been denied disability benefits and need to appeal the decision:
NOT WORKING WITH A DISABILITY ATTORNEY (MISTAKE NO. 5):
It’s possible to appeal a Social Security benefits denial on your own. But this is much more complicated than when you applied.
In addition to presenting more evidence, you may need to prepare to testify in front of a Social Security administrative law judge.
You may need to build legal arguments, cross-examine experts who testify about you, and analyze decisions from the judge or other Social Security officials to find legal errors.
Your chances of success will be higher if you have an experienced disability appeals lawyer on your side. Disability lawyers understand the system, how the appeals process works, and how to help you get the benefits that are rightfully yours.
If you’ve been denied benefits that could help you cover your expenses and move forward with your life, it’s time to get in touch with a disability lawyer.
The Becker Law Office has helped thousands of people in Wisconsin appeal their disability denials.