When it comes to SSDI, applicants should read between the lines

by Jul 24, 2015

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People can find answers to just about any question online. We can find out when a certain movie was made, how to rebuild a car engine and what documentation is needed to go and change the name on a driver’s license. Virtually any question you have can be answered online.

However, this can make it very difficult for people to appreciate the limitations of the Internet when it comes to complicated processes that are unique to each individual. For example, every person will have different questions and concerns when applying for Social Security disability. Sure, we can go online and find the guide to applying for benefits on the Social Security Administration website, but as we and others have noted, it is typically much more complicated than people realize.

Recently, for instance, an article in Time’s Money section explored the disservice that is being done to people applying for benefits if they rely strictly on the information and advice provided on the SSA site. The author of the article notes that if a person complies strictly with the answers and guidelines provided directly from the agency, they could still lose out on benefits they actually do deserve.

For the most part, issues arise when an applicant assumes the process is very black-and-white, as that is how it can appear online. People think that as long as they meet the few eligibility requirements, have a disabling condition and fill out a form at a specific time, they will be guaranteed benefits.

However, there are numerous issues that can throw a wrench in the process. Because the SSA can’t anticipate and note every single one of these issues online, it sort of glosses over the requirements making them seem more vague and flexible than they actually are.

Because of what is at stake and how frustrating it can be to try and navigate the application process without running into questions at every turn, working with an attorney can be crucial. With legal support, a person can get their specific questions answered and their unique circumstances taken into consideration when applying, which can prevent costly delays and complications.

Source: Time, “Why Social Security’s Advice Is Often Wrong,” Philip Moeller, June 8, 2015