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How to Avoid Mistakes When You Appeal a Denied Social Security Disability Claim

plank-dennis-Lancaster-County-PennsylvaniaBy Dennis Plank, Attorney

Suffering from a disabling injury or medical condition can be challenging, both physically and emotionally. Not only must you deal with the effects of your disability, but also with the worry of how you are going to provide for yourself and your family if you are unable to work.

That’s where the Social Security Administration comes in, maintaining two programs to assist in these difficult times. Social Security Disability benefits are available to those who have worked a specified number of years and have paid Social Security taxes. Supplemental Security Income pays benefits to those who have limited income and resources. In 2017, the Social Security Administration paid disability benefits to nearly 10.1 million people.

Unfortunately, more than half of all Social Security Disability claims are initially denied, adding even more emotional stress to an already challenging situation. Many of these denials are due to common mistakes made during the complicated filing process.

If you’re living in Lancaster County and your Social Security Disability claim has been denied, don’t panic. Our team at Going and Plank in downtown Lancaster can help you file an appeal, where your odds of getting a fair resolution increase substantially.

You must appeal a Social Security Disability claim within 60 days of the denial of your claim, so act quickly. We’re experienced in Social Security Disability claims, and can help you to assess your claim and improve your odds of winning an appeal, especially if you’ve made one of these common mistakes:

Mistake: You Missed Deadlines Related to Your Disability Claim

Submitting a Social Security Disability claim may be one of the most challenging government processes you will ever encounter. It requires an enormous amount of paperwork and documentation, and there are time limits associated with submission. You may receive notices in the mail requesting additional information in a very short amount of time. Failure to meet any of these deadlines can result in your disability claim being denied. The good news is you can request a review of your application if you had good cause for missing a deadline. Schedule a free consultation with Going and Plank to see if you have grounds to appeal.

Mistake: Your Application for Social Security Disability was Missing Information

The application for Social Security Disability benefits requires a great deal of information about you and your family, including the names, addresses and phone numbers of doctors, caseworkers, hospitals and clinics that treated you and the dates of your visits. You’ll also need to provide the names and dosages of all medications, laboratory and test results, a work history, recent W-2 and more. Additionally, you will need Social Security numbers and proof of age for yourself and any family members who may qualify for benefits. If your application is missing any of this information, your claim can be denied. Contact us at Going and Plank in Lancaster to see if there is additional information you can submit to support your claim.


Mistake: Your Application Included Conflicting Information

It’s important to carefully review all the information on your application to ensure that details provided on one form do not conflict with those on another. If any statements you make conflict with the details you provide, your application could be denied. Perhaps you misspelled a doctor’s name. Or maybe your medical records are inconsistent with your description of your disability. Schedule a free consultation to see how you may be able to appeal your case with updated information.

Mistake: You Collected Unemployment After Filing a Disability Claim

If you’re concerned about supporting yourself and your family, you may be tempted to apply for unemployment to bridge the income gap while you wait for approval of your Social Security Disability claim. However, unemployment is reserved for people who are actively seeking a job. If you are receiving unemployment benefits, the Social Security Administration may deny your disability claim because you appear ready and able to work. There are, however, exceptions that allow you to collect both disability and unemployment benefits, especially if you are only capable of working in a limited capacity. Schedule a free consultation with our team if you think you may be entitled to both.

Mistake: You Continued Working Despite Medical Orders


It’s understandable that you may want to try to do some type of paid work to help make ends meet, even if it’s only a temporary, short-term solution. However, if you continue to work or take another job against medical orders, the Social Security Administration may assume you can earn a living and deny your disability benefits. After all, when you apply for disability benefits, you are essentially claiming that you are not capable of working. Applicants often underestimate the extent of their disability, but it is important that you understand and accept your limitations.

We can help you ensure those limitations are properly communicated upon appeal. We can also advise about the work incentive programs available that may allow you to work for a trial period while still receiving disability benefits.

If you believe your Social Security Disability claim has been denied unfairly, don’t delay. Contact us at Going and Plank. We’ll help you put your case together, gather evidence and prepare testimony. If your disability is due to a work-related illness or injury, you also may be entitled to workers’ compensation. We will work to ensure you receive all the benefits you deserve. And there is no need to worry about the additional costs of retaining a disability claims attorney when you already have the financial stress of being out of work. At Going and Plank, our representation is available at no cost, unless we recover funds for you.

SSD Mistakes: Why Social Security Disability Claims are Denied and how to Appeal

Filing for a social security disability (SSD) claim can be a long and complicated process. It can be challenging to track and document financial and medical situations. Many people are confused by the requirements for doctor appointments, paperwork, and detailed medical requests. Even the most organized filers can inadvertently make mistakes that lead to a denial of SSD benefits.

If you’re getting ready to file a social security disability claim, or if your claim has been denied, this blog may help you understand why some denials happen. If the Social Security Administration has denied your claim, it’s important to file an appeal quickly. Dennis Plank, an attorney, and partner in Going and Plank with over 30 years of legal experience in Lancaster County, may be able to you help you fight social security disability denials. Mr. Plank shares his list of some common mistakes that sometimes result in denied claims, and explains what to do to improve your odds of winning an appeal.

Social Security Disability Claims: Common Mistakes, Effective Remedies

by Dennis Plank

Dennis-Plank-Lancaster-County-Attorney-PAApplying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits may be one of the most challenging government applications you ever encounter. In addition to requiring an enormous amount of paperwork, doctor appointments, and documentation, fraud is a perceived issue in disability claims. That means that the Social Security Administration is especially vigilant, and pays close attention to the details of every application. To make it even more complicated, the claims approval process allows government employees to factor personal opinions into their decisions. The result is that over 70% of Social Security Disability claims are denied. But don’t get discouraged. Many of these denials can be appealed and overturned with the help of a competent attorney experienced with social security disability claims.

If you’re filing for social security disability benefits, or if you’ve recently been denied, take a look at these common mistakes.

SSD Mistake: Not Following Your Doctor’s Orders

If you’ve filed for a social security disability claim, it is important to see a doctor, and follow their advice to the letter. Take extra care to schedule and attend follow up appointments. Make sure you carefully follow advice for physical activity, diet, and take any prescription medicines that have been prescribed. If you find that you have concerns about your doctor’s recommendations, or if you’re unsure about your physical, mental, or financial ability to follow your doctor’s medical advice, voice your concern with your doctor up front. If you encounter challenges with your doctor’s advice after you leave the appointment, promptly call the doctor’s office to let them know that you’re having issues with medication, diet, or physical activity regimens. Finally, If you don’t keep appointments or follow medical advice for treatment, it can affect your claim. The Social Security Administration may perceive this as refusing to improve your medical situation.

SSD Mistake: Continuing to Work Against Medical Orders

Many of us have a hard time making ends meet without a steady income. That’s why some people who are no longer able to do their job due to a disability still try to find some type of paid work despite medical orders. Others accept a position that provides short-term income but isn’t a long-term solution because of their disability. If you continue to work or take another job, even if you can’t keep that job long-term, the Social Security Administration may assume that you can earn a living and can deny your benefits as a result.


SSD Mistake: Using Illegal Drugs or Abusing Alcohol

The Social Security Administration can deny claims if they believe that drug use or alcohol abuse a significant factor in your disability. Misuse of drugs and alcohol also reduces your credibility as a witness and make the determination process difficult. Additionally, drug and alcohol abuse are not considered eligible disabilities for SSD.

SSD Mistake: Collecting Unemployment

SSD applicants may need help paying their bills while they wait for an SSD claim approval. Some apply for unemployment as a way to bridge the income gap. However, unemployment is reserved for people who are actively job-seeking. That’s why the Social Security Administration sometimes denies claims to those who collect unemployment. If the applicant is receiving unemployment benefits, the Social Security Administration may assume that the recipient is ready and able to work.

SSD Mistake: Missing Deadlines

There are time limits on many activities and applications including when to send a document, how long you have to appeal a decision, and timeframes for requesting a hearing. You could risk losing benefits if you miss deadlines on any of these activities.

SSD Mistake: Making an SSD Appeal Without a Lawyer

While the Social Security Administration may tell you that you don’t need a lawyer to appeal a claim, many people fail in appeals because they didn’t understand the process, missed a deadline, made mistakes on paperwork, or allow their application to languish in approval. At Going and Plank, we’ll assess your claim, let you know if you have a chance at overturning the decision, make sure you’ve met all requirements, and coach you for your appeals hearing. And if we take on your case, you won’t be billed until you receive your disability benefits.


If you’re serious about appealing your Social Security Disability denial, act quickly. There’s a 60-day limit on appeals. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

The Law Offices of Going and Plank are located in downtown Lancaster, PA. We are proud to participate in the Hyatt Legal Plan.

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