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Published On: Tue, Oct 13th, 2015

Social Security Disability Insurance: Top Mistakes to Avoid When You Apply

If you find yourself in circumstances where you need to apply for social disability insurance, the last thing you will probably want is to experience frustration and confusion with delays to the process because you maybe had language issues and quite commonly, made some mistakes in your application.

There are useful resources available such as a social security disability lawyer Spanish language website if you need help with translation as well as additional assistance with your application.

It also helps to learn about some of the top mistakes made by applicants, so that you can hopefully avoid delays and also get everything you are entitled to.

Be prepared

Few would argue with the observation that filing for Social Security disability benefits can often become a complicated and drawn out process, but you can improve your odds of a successful outcome if you avoid some of the more common mistakes made by applicants.

It is essential to understand that the outcome of your disability claim will largely depend on how well you have managed to complete the paperwork.

This is because a lot of information and detail is required in order to determine the decision to award that will be made to you, so you must be prepared to give a comprehensive account of your current condition and medical history as well as providing full disclosure on what work activity you have or have not been able to fulfill.

Prepare all the information that you think you might need beforehand including dates and other specific data that is likely to be requested on the form or in your initial interview, so that the job of the disability claims examiner, or an administrative law judge if needed, can hopefully make a favorable determination in your case and award you the money you need and are entitled to.

photo by photoSteve101 via Flickr

photo by photoSteve101 via Flickr

Relevance of work history

A regular issue that crops up in the application process is the relevancy of your work history.

It is essential to appreciate that a large number of Social Security approvals are based upon medical-vocational allowances.

To arrive at a decision on your claim the examiner will take into account your work history and also your level of education, age and current medical impairments. Your previous employment history can feature heavily in this equation and they are basically looking into whether you are no longer able to the work you did in the past.

If it is determined that you are no longer able to carry out the employment duties that you used to be capable of and cannot perform other work either, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will deem you to be disabled.

This is why they will ask plenty of probing questions that go beyond just your job title, as they need to know what your work duties used to be as a way of confirming that your present condition renders you unable to do perform these tasks anymore.

Common employment mistakes

One of the common mistakes that applicants are likely to be make is to not quit their work before applying for disability.

Whilst it may seem the right thing to do, if you are currently earning in excess of $1,090 per month, you will need to either quit your job or start working fewer hours, if you want to be considered as a qualifying applicant for disability benefits.

You will need to check the current figure as it is adjusted according to the current price/wage index, but Social Security will consider any amount that exceeds the current threshold as substantial gainful activity (SGA) and if you earn more than that you are unlikely to receive any benefits.

Make sure you quit your job or do not earn more than the current SGA figure before you apply.

Medical mistakes

Other regular mistakes that can certainly harm or prejudice your disability claim, include not taking medication as prescribed by your doctor.

The examiner will mainly decide to award you benefits based on the credibility of your statements as well as the facts supplied to them. This means that you have to convince the agency that the symptoms you are suffering from are very real and entirely genuine.

If you have not spoken to your doctor and there are no medical notes or prescriptions to back up your claims, even if you are entirely genuine, it is highly likely that Social Security will deny your claim because they will conclude that your condition is not as severe as you say it is.

Not following the medical advice given to you and taking the prescribed treatments or using the assistive devices provided, is just one mistake that could result in you not getting the financial support that you need.

Guest Author :

Stuart Barasch assists Social Security claimants recover disability benefits in hearings before Judges in all 50 States. He has thirty-three years experience in the practice of law; and is an active Member in Good Standing: Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Texas, and California Bar. Stuart maintains a law practice in Miami Beach and Los Angeles emphasizing disability law and providing appellate brief writing services to lawyers.

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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  1. […] Social Security Disability Insurance: Top Mistakes to Avoid When You Apply – If you find yourself in circumstances where you need to apply for social disability … no longer able to carry out the employment duties that you used to be capable of and cannot perform other work either, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will … […]

  2. […] Social Security Disability Insurance: Top Mistakes to Avoid When You Apply – There are useful resources available such as a social security disability lawyer Spanish language website if you need help with translation as well as additional assistance with your application. It also helps to learn … […]

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