7 SSDI Horror Stories to Avoid

7 SSDI Horror Stories to Avoid

SSDI Horror Stories
Contact us after your SSDI Horror Stories.

7 SSDI Horror Stories to Avoid

Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can be a stressful process. In fact, so can making sure that you retain your benefits. People have made plenty of mistakes regarding applying for benefits and reporting eligibility that has resulted in all kinds of SSDI horror stories. However, learning about these SSDI horror stories is a good way to avoid some of the more common pitfalls when it comes to the application process and retaining your eligibility if you’re approved.

SSDI is an incredibly helpful program for millions of people. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few SSDI horror stories out there.

The following are some of the SSDI horror stories that you won’t want to be part of:

1. Dying while waiting for SSDI approval

It’s supposed to take between 30 days and 90 days to receive word as to whether your initial application has been approved or rejected. Many people need benefits to help pay for their bills, which makes this waiting period rather inconvenient. Worse, it’s not uncommon for it to take longer due to how understaffed the Social Security Administration is and how backlogged they are with applications.

If rejected, you can expect to wait even longer in the appeal process. It’s not uncommon for a first appeal to be rejected either, after which you’ll need to request a hearing before an administrative law judge to plead your case. Unfortunately, there are over a million Americans currently waiting for a hearing and the average wait time is around two years.

Many Americans have severe disabilities that may result in death. As horrible as it is to say, more than a few Americans have died while waiting for SSDI approval. It’s even sadder when thinking about the possibility that these benefits could have helped to improve their quality of life and potentially prolonged it as well.

Dying while waiting for SSDI benefits is the last thing you want to have happen, especially if you’re leaving behind a family. It’s why you should extra care to provide all the information required when filling out your initial application and why you should strongly consider hiring an attorney to help, since they will increase your chances of being approved.

2. Going bankrupt because of application rejection

If you’ve suffered a disability that prevents you from being able to work, then you can’t earn the income you need to pay your bills. Although you’ll receive back payments from the Social Security Administration once you’re approved to make up for the time that you went without benefits while you waited for the application process to finish, it can sometimes take a long time to begin receiving benefits, especially if your initial application was rejected and you had to go through a lengthy appeal process.

There have been people who have dug themselves into a financial hole while waiting for their benefits simply because they didn’t have the money to pay for their bills, causing them to go into more and more debt. If you were already in debt at the beginning of the process, there might even be a chance that you’ll be forced into bankruptcy, especially if appealing your case.

The fact that it can take some time to receive your benefits because a lengthy appeal process is reason enough to ensure approval of your initial application. Otherwise, you could risk going into debt as you wait for your benefits to be approved.

3. The regret of not working with an attorney

Working with an attorney or a Social Security advocate is something that you should strongly consider doing, even during the initial application process. Someone who is familiar with the ins and outs of the SSDI application process is going to be able to provide you with professional guidance that will improve your chances of being approved.

Since more than half of the applications that the Social Security Administration receives are initially rejected, getting professional assistance is a good idea. Even if you didn’t hire an attorney, there’s still time after you’ve been rejected. An attorney can help boost your chances when you appeal the rejection.

Some people might want to forego the use of an attorney due to the cost. However, there are attorneys and advocates who specialize in Social Security. They understand that you may not have the money to pay for their services up front; which is why they will often take payment only if you’ve been approved. In which case, a percentage will be taken from your back payments to pay for their services.

4. Being hindered by a bad attorney

Unfortunately, just because you’ve hired an attorney, it doesn’t mean that you’re set as far as the application or appeal process go. Not all attorneys are equal, after all. This means that if you hire a bad attorney, they could hurt your chances of having your initial application or appeal approved. It’s very important that you interview the attorney to determine if they will be able to help you.

First, do not hire an attorney that has no experience with Social Security cases. Secondly, pay attention to how they communicate with you. Do they get back to you as soon as possible? Does their staff treat you with respect? Do they communicate clearly? Communication is important, otherwise, how can you depend on them? You can trust that the attorneys at Social Security Disability Advocates USA will help you.

5. Not filling out paperwork on time and having benefits revoked

Once you’ve been approved for SSDI benefits, the Social Security Administration will require that you keep them up to date on certain information. For example, if you move, then you need to provide your new address. If you don’t, and they cannot contact you because your address and phone number has changed; then they will eventually revoke your benefits.

The same can occur if you are switching financial institutions. If you plan on having your benefits deposited into a new account, you need to let the Social Security Administration know well ahead of time. Usually, it will take a month or two for the switch to be made; which means that you’ll have to keep your old account open until they let you know that it’s been done.

Always let the Social Security Administration know about any changes to your medical condition, work, income, and location. Withholding information can be considered grounds for revoking your benefits.

6. Receiving an SSDI overpayment notification

Receiving an SSDI overpayment notification in the mail can be panic-inducing. If this happens, it means that the Social Security Administration believes that it has been paying you more than you should have been getting. They will request that you pay the excess amount you received within 30 days. This, of course, is rarely feasible for those who are on SSDI. Why does this happen? In some cases, it was just a mistake made by the Social Security Administration. If this is the case, you can appeal the decision or request a waiver; which means they will waive what you owe and just correct the benefits amount from then on.

However, in other cases, it might be your fault. This can happen if you didn’t inform the Social Security Administration about certain information that may have affected your benefits amount. For example, if you made more than the earned income limit for a certain amount of time. If it’s your fault, then you can try to negotiate the amount you owe. Often, the Social Security Administration will be willing to compromise; especially if they know that you need your benefits to pay for living expenses.

In addition to negotiating, you can also request a payment plan if you’re unable to pay what you owe; within 30 days. It’s not uncommon for a plan to be put into place where a percentage is withdrawn from your benefit payment every month to pay towards what you owe.

7. Unfairly charged with SSDI fraud

Some people out there take advantage of the SSDI program and unfairly receive benefits due to fraud. Anyone caught committing fraud to collect benefits will not only lose those benefits, they’ll face potential punishment. Fraud is a crime, after all. However, being unfairly charged with SSDI fraud is terrifying. A few tips to help you avoid fraud charges:

  • Report changes in your work status immediately
  • Report your eligibility for other disability benefits
  • Stay below the maximum earned income limits if you work
  • Report changes in your medical condition
  • Report any changes in your life situation

These SSDI horror stories should help you to avoid some common pitfalls. Schedule a free consultation at Social Security Disability Advocates USA for professional advice concerning the SSDI application process by calling (602) 952-3200 today.

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