No one really plans to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Usually, unfortunate circumstances are what result in someone needing benefits. A diagnosis with a degenerative condition, a car crash or even cancer might lead someone unable to work struggling to avoid absolute poverty.
SSDI benefits are a crucial social safety net available to those who have paid into the program throughout their adult life via the tax withholdings from their paycheck. Those who have made sufficient contributions thus far throughout their career can potentially apply for SSDI benefits to help them cover their living expenses when they can’t work anymore due to a medical issue.
If you will need to apply for benefits or help a loved one apply, make sure you don’t fall victim to these three most common mistakes made by SSDI applicants.
Collecting unemployment while applying for SSDI
You can potentially get unemployment benefits and Social Security retirement benefits at the same time. However, you probably can’t receive unemployment while applying for SSDI without it affecting your application.
You need to have a disability severe enough that it prevents you from working to get SSDI, but you usually have to attest to actively looking for a job to receive unemployment benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) might interpret your unemployment benefits as a sign that your condition isn’t really severe enough to prevent you from working.
Not getting help with your paperwork
Quite a few people face denials when they apply for benefits. In part, the high rejection rate is a result of people making mistakes or not including enough evidence to help validate their claim of a serious disability. Some people apply too early, before they can receive benefits, another mistake easily avoided with the guidance of a lawyer familiar with SSDI applications and requirements.
Getting help not only ensures that you don’t have to stress about your application but will also make it easier for you if you need to take additional action because you receive a rejection notice.
Giving up after a setback
Even SSDI applications completed with the help of an experienced lawyer can sometimes wind up rejected by the SSA. Quite a few people initially denied benefits received those benefits on appeal. In fact, there is a multi-stage appeal process, and some qualified applicants have to go through all four distinct stages to get the benefits they deserve.
Having experienced help will make it easier for you to stay focused on your objective and will ensure that no matter how your condition progresses, you have someone advocating for you when you need help the most.