My SSDI Benefits Were Denied – Now What?
Veterans Disability Network outlines some common mistakes Veterans make when they file for Social Security Disability benefits and what to do about it.
- Applicants give up. Don’t give up. SSDI is a strictly regulated program, so don’t be surprised if the SSA denies your initial claim, even if you have a disability rating from the VA. More than two-thirds of claimants who reach the hearing level are awarded their Social Security disability benefits, and 90 percent of those have representation such as Victory Disability.
- Applicants don’t appeal the decision. It’s important to appeal the decision before the SSA’s deadline. Many Vets miss the appeal deadline and later re-apply. But this means you are literally spinning your wheels. Seeking representation after denial can take some of the worry about handling the appeal process. You won’t be handling your SSDI claim alone and it doesn’t cost anything out of pocket.
- Applicants don’t provide enough information. Details about work history, medical issues and physical limitations are absolutely critical. If you don’t provide enough information or detail, it can limit the SSA examiners’ understanding of your claim. Applicants can forget to list all their doctors, leave out a specialist, or even their primary care physician. If the application isn’t complete, it only hurts the applicant. Getting SSI representation from a firm like Victory Disability, which focuses on assisting Vets with SSDI can help with these steps, including contacting physicians and retrieving and submitting important medical records.
- Applicants try to correct inaccurate information. Information submitted in the original application stays with the claim, including the denial letter. It’s important to file the appeal and use that opportunity to clarify the information in your claim.Getting help with more detailed information and clarification are additional benefits from working with an experienced representative.
- Applicants underestimate the extent of their disability. This can go hand-in-hand with not providing enough information. Many Vets with disabilities struggle with acknowledging that they cannot work any longer. Sometimes it comes down to simply forgetting the changes you’ve made in your life to accommodate your disability. Reviewing your health issues with your family or a disability representative can help highlight these issues.
- Applicants don’t realize they can get representation services at any time. In a survey of nearly 300 successful SSDI applicants —51 percent said they were not aware they could retain representation with their initial SSDI filing. Getting help on your initial application can mean not having to deal with making appeals or attending a hearing to receive their benefits. However, if you’ve already been denied, getting assistance is wise too.