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6 Mistakes to AVOID a Denial of Social Security Disability

If your disability application was denied, take a deep breath. This isn’t the end of the road. Many claims are wrongly rejected initially, only to be overturned later through appeal. But there are crucial mistakes that can tank an appeal if you’re not careful. Avoid them, and your odds of success rise dramatically.

The appeal process gives you a second chance to prove your case and get the benefits you deserve. But it also opens the door for avoidable errors. Going it alone without understanding Social Security’s rules and procedures is risky. However, with the right legal representation guiding you each step of the way, your denial can be reversed.

This blog will explore the most common SSDI claim mistakes that doom disability appeals and how you can avoid them.

1. Giving Up Without Filing an Appeal

Don’t assume your case is hopeless just because your initial disability application was denied. In fact, most first claims are denied as a matter of routine. However, by appealing, you get the chance to present your case to an administrative law judge who will review it more thoroughly.

There are often good reasons a wrongful denial occurred. Failing to appeal at all is the biggest mistake you can make – you have 65 days to file from the date of the denial letter.

2. Not Hiring a Lawyer Due to Cost

The inability to work and mounting medical bills make legal fees seem unaffordable. But your social security disability lawyer only collects if/when you are awarded benefits, taking a small percentage of back pay.

The usual fee is 25% of back benefits, up to the maximum set by the law, which is currently $6,000. Don’t try to handle your appeal without a lawyer because you think you can afford one. Without a lawyer, your chances at your hearing plummet. Represented claimants have higher approval odds. The last thing you want is to leave benefits on the table by going it alone.

3. Delaying Getting a Lawyer Until the Last Minute

Don’t wait until you receive your hearing notice to consult with a disability lawyer. Hire a lawyer when Social Security notifies you your claim is denied or even sooner. Don’t wait until you get a notice of the date for your hearing. Meeting early allows them to guide your application strategy. Hired at the start, your lawyer has ample time to gather medical evidence and prepare a thorough case. A last-minute hire risks not being fully prepped for the hearing.

4. Giving Up on Medical Treatment

Even if treatment seems ineffective, consistently seeing your doctors is vital. A judge wants to see you actively managing your conditions. Stopping treatment suggests you recover, undermining your disability case. Keep appointments and report all symptoms so doctors fully document your limitations.

5. Failing to Record Your Symptoms

Given long appeal timeframes, memory fades. Keeping a detailed symptom journal preserves critical details on pain levels, medication effects, and treatment. Review it before hearings to give accurate testimony on how your conditions prevent you from working. Don’t rely purely on recollection.

6. Saying Too Little at Your Hearing

The hearing is your prime opportunity to explain to the judge deciding your case why you deserve benefits. Don’t waste it by failing to provide sufficient details on your disabling conditions and limitations. Be thorough and specific to convince the judge you meet Social Security’s stringent disability standards.

In summary, persist through denials, have legal guidance, diligently treat your conditions, record your symptoms, and use your hearing voice. Follow this advice to maximize your chances of a successful disability appeal.

Don’t Go It Alone – Contact Us for a Free Consultation

If your Social Security disability benefits were denied, contact the experienced team at O’Connor Law. We offer free consultations to discuss your situation and appeal options at no risk or obligation.

With customized legal guidance every step of the way, we can help you avoid common mistakes and present the strongest case.

Don’t forfeit the disability benefits you deserve – you have rights. Contact us today so we can start fighting to get you the maximum compensation you are entitled to. We’re here to help you through this difficult process and get you a favorable outcome.

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