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3 Tips To Help Get Your Application For Disability Benefits Approved

by Jamie Nichols

Applying for disability can be very intimidating because so many are afraid they will get denied. Disability application denials are actually quite common as only an average of 35% are approved on the first try. That means the majority of those who apply for disability have to go through at least one round of the appeals process. Here are three tips to help get your application for disability benefits approved.

1. Submit proper medical documentation for your condition.

Not sending in proper medical records is a major reason why a lot of people are denied disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) can't approve applications if they are unsure of the person's condition or the severity of it.

It can be difficult to determine just how much medical documentation you should send in - whether at the time of initial application or when appealing a denial. The truth is there is no such as thing as sending in too much medical documentation. It is a good idea to send in everything relating to your condition, even if you do think you are sending in too much.

The important thing is to send in recent medical records. The SSA needs to have documentation from medical visits within the past six months. Of course, you can still send in older records as well, but the more recent records are necessary to confirm your condition is a current one.

Also, make sure you discuss your records with your doctor(s) to make sure they are accurate and be an asset to your disability benefits application. If the doctor hasn't kept detailed records about your condition, they will be of no help to you. The SSA won't approve disability benefits unless the doctor has gone into great detail about your condition and treatments that have been attempted to correct it.

2. Make sure you are no longer working full-time.

When you apply for disability benefits, you have to make sure you aren't working full-time hours. The reason is because, if you continue working as you have always done, the SSA will see no need for you to get benefits. It can be quite difficult to switch to a part-time job, especially if you were already living on a severely tight budget. However, not doing so is sure to get your application denied.

The SSA does allow you to work while applying for, and even getting, disability benefits. You just can't earn an income that exceeds their substantial gainful activity (SGA) threshold. The SGA threshold for 2016 is $1,130 for those who aren't blind, and $1,820 for those who are. As long as you don't make over the SGA amount applicable to your situation, you shouldn't be denied based on your income.

3. Send in any proof to back up your excuse for not complying with any treatment suggested by your doctor.

Another big reason so many people are denied disability benefits when they apply is because they haven't complied with all treatment options suggested by their doctor. If the SSA sees that you have been non-compliant with your doctor's treatment plan, they will assume you have no interest in improving your disabling condition.

The SSA understands that there are valid reasons for not going along with your doctor's plan of treatment. However, it is dependent on you to provide them with your reasoning, and the proof to back it up, when you apply or appeal your denial.   

For instance, if you claim you can't afford the treatment in question, you will need to submit statements detailing the cost of the treatment. You may also need to submit a statement from your financial institution, but the SSA may just use your employment wage information to determine if the treatment is too expensive for you.

There are many excuses the SSA will deem acceptable for treatment non-compliance. Just remember to submit documentation to back up whatever excuse you use to help improve your chances of getting your application approved. For more information about applying for disability, contact a lawyer, such as Michael P Boyle