Top 12 Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for Social Security Disability
Filing for Social Security disability benefits can be a complicated and long process. In order to better the chances of your having a successful outcome, here are some common mistakes to avoid:
Mistake 1: Collecting unemployment while waiting for disability. Some judges see this as a statement that you are “ready, willing and able to work.”
Mistake 2: Not quitting work when applying for disability. Social Security is very strict about your “ability to work.”
Mistake 3: Assuming you can’t afford a disability lawyer. We work on a contingency basis so there is no fee until we win your case.
Mistake 4: Never checking the status of your SSDI or SSI claim. Social Security Administration is a large agency and it is not uncommon for paperwork to slip through the cracks, so you must keep good records.
Mistake 5: Missing the disability appeal deadline. Be sure to find out the appeal deadlines. It is usually 60 days from the date on the denial notice.
Mistake 6: Not preparing for a Social Security disability hearing. This process begins when you file an application. You have to tell a consistent story that makes sense and is documented by the medical evidence.
Mistake 7: Not taking medication as prescribed by your doctor. Even if you have trouble affording medicine, you should always discuss this with your doctor.
Mistake 8: Not alleging mental conditions which you have on a Social Security disability or SSI disability application. All the elements of your case work together to establish disability.
Mistake 9: Not seeing a doctor for your medical or emotional problems. It’s all about the evidence. You must have a doctor who can explain your impairments.
Mistake 10: Thinking you just can’t win. If you believe that you have become disabled, you should file an application for benefits. Don’t get discouraged if you receive a denial. You should appeal it and seek the advice of an attorney.
Mistake 11: Waiting to file. It can take a long time before you’re awarded benefits due to the appeals process. To shorten your wait time, you should file immediately if you are not working or your earnings dropped below $1,180 per month as of 2018.
Mistake 12: Not hiring an attorney. A disability attorney can help you strengthen your arguments, meet all deadlines, and use the law to your advantage.