5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for Social Security Disability in Oregon

Applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can be particularly challenging for residents of Oregon. The high volume of applications and extensive line of backlogs in our area can cause our SSD processing times to be longer than the national average.

Since the system is so crowded, there’s also an increased level of scrutiny in the application process that can lead to legitimate claims being denied. Oregon’s Social Security Disability process often makes people feel overwhelmed and frustrated, which causes them to abandon the application and miss out on the benefits they need.

To help you understand this complicated system, I want to share five common mistakes to avoid when applying for SSD benefits. By being aware of these pitfalls, you can improve your application’s chances of being approved quickly and avoid the even more time-consuming process of appealing the SSA’s decision.

For more specific information about your Social Security application, you can contact me or my staff at Drew L. Johnson, P.C. Attorneys at Law. We can answer all your questions and guide you through the process from beginning to end.

Providing Incomplete Medical Records

When applying for Social Security Disability benefits, one of the most important aspects of your application is the medical evidence. Unfortunately, I see many applicants with incomplete or insufficient medical records, which cause their applications to stall or be denied. The Social Security Administration (SSA) relies heavily on your medical records to determine your eligibility for benefits, so incomplete records are the most common cause of denied applications.

To avoid this mistake, ensure your medical records are complete and up-to-date before submitting your application. You can do this by including detailed reports from your attending physicians that contain the results of your recent tests or procedures.

In Oregon, having a medical professional who understands SSA requirements is crucial. They can provide detailed and supportive statements about your condition and its impact on your ability to work.

Missing Application Deadlines

Meeting deadlines is incredibly important when filing for Social Security Disability benefits in Oregon. I find that many of my clients are unaware of how strict the application timeline really is. For example, if your SSD claim is denied, you have a 60-day window to appeal your case. If you don’t start the appeals process within that window, you may have to start the process over from scratch. This puts you back at the end of the line for receiving the benefits you need, and causes many people to become too frustrated to continue on their own.

To avoid this very common mistake, keep track of all deadlines related to your application and appeal. These timelines will be sent to you in the mail along with the reason you were denied. Use the information to set reminders that ensure you submit all required documents on time.

At Drew L. Johnson, P.C. Attorneys at Law, we can help you manage these deadlines and submit all your paperwork promptly. We can also assist you in gathering the necessary medical records that ensure your application is approved the first time. If you’ve already been denied, we’ll guide you through the appeals process until your needs are met and your benefits are approved.

Failing to Follow the Prescribed Treatments

Not following your doctor’s orders can be another reason your application is denied. SSA requires that all applicants follow the treatments they are prescribed for their conditions. If SSA believes that following the prescribed treatments could improve your condition, they’ll deny your disability claim on the basis that you could return to work but are choosing not to.

It’s best to consistently follow your doctor’s prescribed treatments, like taking your medications, participating in physical therapies, and switching to a healthier lifestyle to improve your chances of recovery. If you can’t follow a treatment because of severe side effects or financial constraints, ensure those issues are well-documented and communicated to SSA.

Not Properly Documenting Work History and Earnings

Your work history and earnings are essential factors when determining your Social Security eligibility and the amount of benefits you can receive. I often see applicants fail to provide comprehensive work histories, which causes their applications to be delayed or denied.

To avoid this, gather all your employment records. Document any periods of reduced earnings or unemployment due to your disability. Ensure that all the information you provide is accurate and that it matches your medical records exactly.

Not Responding Promptly to Requests from the SSA

SSA may contact you for additional information or clarification at several stages of the application process. Failing to respond to them quickly can result in delays in the process or a denial of your claim.

It’s important to regularly check your mail for any communication from SSA and respond to requests for additional information as quickly as possible. Keep copies of all correspondence and documents from, and sent to, SSA, including the dates and times your information was received. Working with an experienced Social Security attorney can be particularly helpful in these cases because we can handle all communications with SSA on your behalf.

Avoid the Common SSD Pitfalls with Drew L. Johnson, P.C. Attorneys at Law

The Social Security Disability application process in Oregon can be confusing and frustrating, but avoiding these common mistakes can improve your chances of being approved.

At Drew L. Johnson, P.C., we understand the unique challenges faced by Oregon residents, and our team is dedicated to helping you every step of the way. If you need help with your application, or you need to appeal a denied claim, call us today at (541) 434-6466 or (541) 967-1045. We offer a free consultation to help you begin the process of securing the benefits you deserve.