7 Common Social Security Disability Mistakes
You can increase your chances of success with getting Social Security Disability benefits if you stay clear of these stumbles:
Mistake No. 1: Waiting to Apply for Benefits
You should apply for SSD benefits as soon as you realize you can’t work because of your health. Applying starts the clock running on when you’ll ultimately receive benefits. Applying sooner means you could receive more back benefits later.
Mistake No. 2: Failing to Go to the Doctor Consistently
Medical records are the key to every SSD claim. You get medical records by regularly going to the doctor for treatment of your impairments. Getting consistent medical treatment also signals to Social Security that your ailments are serious.
Mistake No. 3: Working Too Much
The idea of SSD benefits is that they help you when you can’t work. Social Security may still allow you to qualify while doing limited amounts of work. But working can also hurt your claim.
Mistake No 4: Holding Back on Describing Your Impairment
It’s natural to want to be positive and focus on what you can still do, but when you’re explaining how your health problems prevent you from working, you need to give a complete picture of every way that your ailments limit you.
Mistake No. 5: Exaggerating Your Situation
But you don’t want to describe your health as worse than it is. If Social Security claims examiners or administrative law judges (ALJs) suspect you are exaggerating, that can doom your claim.
Mistake No. 6: Abusing Drugs or Alcohol
Social Security Disability judges may resist awarding benefits to someone with a substance abuse problem. They may think the drug use contributes to the disability, so it must be addressed first. You may need to show proof of your rehabilitation program.
Mistake No. 7: Giving Up When You Receive a Denial
It’s extremely common to be denied for SSD benefits. Appealing a denial is how many people finally get benefits. If you receive a denial notice, don’t write off the possibility that you could still win benefits.
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How Can You Avoid These Social Security Disability Mistakes?
Applying for SSD when you can’t work is a lot of work in itself.
And this comes at a time when you may be struggling to have enough strength and energy for everyday activities, much less filling out a lot of forms and gathering piles of paperwork.
One of the best ways to avoid making a mistake in your disability application is to work with an advocate who’s been through this process many times before.
At Hanley Disability, we’ve helped thousands of people win benefits. We can make sure your information is correct and presented to Social Security in the correct way.
When you can’t work and you’re struggling financially, we help you protect your independence and dignity.