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Social Security Disability benefits make your life easier when you can’t work because of severe health problems. The monthly checks help you pay for food and other essentials, increasing your financial stability.
With those odds, you can’t afford to make any mistakes when you apply for disability.
At Lachman & Gorton Law Office, our disability lawyers have been helping people apply for Social Security Disability for over 40 years. And we’ve seen the kinds of mistakes people often make.
Keep reading for our top tips on avoiding mistakes in your Social Security Disability application.
And if you’re in Binghamton, Elmira, Rochester or anywhere in Upstate New York or Central New York, reach out to us for help with your disability application.
You pay no fee for a disability attorney until you win benefits.
And when someone experienced is working on your claim, you can make sure it’s done right, so you can get the financial relief you need.
When you’re putting together your application for disability, you can make a stronger case if you stay clear of these problems:
Submitting Incomplete Forms
Don’t leave parts of your application forms blank. You don’t want Social Security Disability claims examiners to wonder if you’re hiding something. If you have to, explain that some information is not available.
Giving Wrong Information
Incorrect information in your disability application can come back to hurt you. When information on one form doesn’t match other information you send to Social Security—or if it doesn’t match what you eventually say in a disability hearing with a judge—that could lead to a benefits denial with Social Security officials doubting your statements.
Providing the Wrong Types of Information
Social Security wants to know certain things in deciding whether to award you Social Security Disability benefits. Other things that you might be tempted to say aren’t going to help your claim. You disability attorney will know what information you need and don’t need.
Not Having Consistent Medical Treatment
Besides forms, the most important items you’ll send Social Security will be medical records from your treatment for the conditions that keep you from working. Medical evidence is the core of any successful disability case. To get this evidence, you have to go to the doctor regularly and follow the doctor’s instructions. Even just going in for ongoing treatment is a form of evidence itself, showing that your condition is serious and you’re taking it seriously.
Working and Earning Too Much
The main qualification for Social Security Disability is that you can’t work because of your health. If you’re still working and earning a substantial amount, that disqualifies you for benefits.
You can start building your claim by getting a consultation from Lachman & Gorton, FOR FREE.
Here’s how we often see people hurting their chances at winning benefits after they’ve been denied the first time and need to appeal the decision:
Waiting to Appeal
When you receive notice of a Social Security Disability denial, you have 60 days to start your appeal. Don’t hesitate.
Getting denied can be so discouraging that some people think there’s no hope and stop trying to win benefits. If that’s how you feel, you need to know that the overall number of people approved for benefits goes up when you add in appeals. Appealing could be your best chance of winning benefits, so don’t lose hope.
Glossing over Your Health Problems
It can feel highly personal to talk about the ways that your body or your mental health aren’t working as they should, especially when you get to the point in your appeal that you’re talking to a disability judge. Sometimes, you just don’t want to sound too negative. But when you’re explaining to Social Security why you should receive benefits, you need to be complete and frank about how health problems are impacting you.
Overstating Your Condition
The other side of the above is that you don’t want to be overly dramatic. Be honest about your health limitations. Don’t exaggerate. Decision-makers at Social Security, like disability judges, could be less sympathetic if they think you’re over-the-top in describing your situation.
Using Illegal Drugs or Alcohol
A substance abuse issue can hurt your disability claim. A disability judge may think your other health problems would improve, and you could work, if you stopped using substances. If this has been a problem for you, you may need to show documentation of how you’ve pursued rehabilitation.
Failing to Work with a Disability Attorney
Appeals are more complicated than applying. We recommend working with an experienced disability lawyer. Your lawyer can help you avoid mistakes. Not only that, your lawyer can make the process easier for you by taking over all the legwork. And when you go to a disability hearing with a judge, one government study found your chances of benefits approval are almost three times greater if you have a representative with you.
Social Security Disability benefits help you focus on your health—and just living your life—instead of worrying about money.
Let the disability legal team at Lachman & Gorton help you get there.