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Applying for SSD benefits? Avoid these three mistakes

Putting together a successful application for Social Security Disability (SSD) can be difficult. Recent data estimates that only 36 percent of all SSD claims are approved by the Social Security Administration (SSA). That means almost two-thirds of applicants are denied benefits.

How can an applicant avoid denial of SSD benefits?

There are steps you can take to avoid being part of the group of applications that are denied benefits. The success of an application packet can be increased by avoiding these three common mistakes:

  • Not including medical records. It is not wise to assume that the medical provider will send the requested medical records in time for review by the SSD before the agency makes its decision. As a result, it is best to include the applicable records within the initial application packet. Also note that the agency may send a packet with additional forms. Fill these out fully and include the medical records a second time.
  • Not using a residual functional capacity form. This form is filed out by the treating physician. It outlines the applicant's disability, discussing the limitations and prognosis that have resulted in the inability to work.
  • Not fighting. Do not give up. If the application is denied, additional measures for approval are available. Of the 36 percent of applications that are approved, only approximately 25 percent are approved the first time around. The remaining approvals are the result of appeals and hearings.

An article by CNBC discussed this issue, noting that employment can undermine an applicant's chances for approval of benefits. Essentially, those applying for SSD are saying that they are unable to work. As a result, the SSA may question the necessity of an applicant requesting benefits when the applicant that is under review for benefits is able to work.

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