7 Mistakes Can Ruin a Social Security Disability Claim
Filing a Social Security disability claim requires you to deal with medical and financial issues, which entail keeping track of paperwork, medical records, doctors’ appointment and other information necessary to file a successful claim. Claims are often denied when they are first filed. Due to the high rate of claims denials, applicants often have to attend hearings before an administrative law judge. Hiring a lawyer makes all the difference when cases must be presented in court.
The odds of being granted Social Security disability are significantly reduced when you represent yourself. Hiring a disability lawyer does not guarantee that you will be awarded backpay, but it is does ensure that your case will be developed prior to your hearing.
Here are some things you should avoid when applying for disability:
- Bad Medical Records. You need to have strong medical evidence to support your claim. Be sure to: get treatment early and often, follow prescribed treatments, consult with specialists, and keep a journal to keep notes of pain and any physical limitations that you experience.
- Waiting Too Long to Apply. As soon as you determine you may be unable to work for a year or longer, you should file for benefits. You could risk losing substantial benefits, if you wait longer than necessary to apply.
- Waiting Too Long to Appeal.If you have applied and been denied, you will have received a denial notice. You have 60 days from the date of the letter to appeal. If you do not appeal within this time frame, you must begin the process from the beginning. You could also lose your rights to benefits altogether.
- Using Illegal Drugs or Abusing Alcohol. Social Security laws can prevent you from receiving disability benefits if abusing drugs or alcohol is a factor in your disability. The abuse of these substances also tends to harm your credibility as a witness. Drug addiction and alcoholism are not compensated with SSDI benefits.
- Failing to Cooperate. If you fail to complete paperwork, avoid evaluation appointments, or ignore calls or letters from the Social Security Administration, your application may be denied due to lack of cooperation or insufficient information.
- Making Inconsistent Statements. Making inconsistent statements can lead to the loss of credibility in your claim.
- Representing Yourself. Very few people who represent themselves in a Social Security disability claim win their case. Your chances of getting a claim approved are much lower when you don’t have the help of a lawyer.
Don’t jeopardize your disability claim by not being fully prepared. Use these suggestions to strengthen your claim, and consult with an experienced disability lawyer from 1-800-THE-LAW2. Remember, with 1-800-THE-LAW2 either you get paid, or you don’t pay at all!