Unfortunately, filing for social security disability benefits can be a long and complicated process. In fact, in 2014, approximately 68 percent of Social Security disability applications were denied. So, what can you do to increase your chances of being approved for disability payments? Avoid these three common mistakes.
Collecting Unemployment While Waiting For Your Decision
If you're receiving unemployment benefits, you should talk to a Social Security disability lawyer before applying for disability benefits because applying for disability while on unemployment sends a mixed message.
Technically, Social Security can't deny your claim for simply receiving unemployment benefits. However, the disability examiner can take it into consider when trying to determine whether you're really disabled. When you filing for Social Security disability, you're stating that you have been unable to or won't be able to work for at least a 12 month period. When you file for unemployment, you're stating that you're ready and available to work when you find a job that fits your skills. Also, part of filing for unemployment requires you to apply for a specific amount of jobs within the filing period, which isn't something that you would do if you weren't able to work at all.
In some states, people only have to be available and ready to work part time when applying for unemployment. If this is the case, you might still qualify for disability benefits while on unemployment. However, you need to speak to your Social Security disability lawyer before you apply to determine your best course of action.
Not Seeing a Doctor for Your Medical or Emotional Problems
Disability examiners base their decisions on information contained in the applicant's medical records. Without some sort of recent medical evidence on file, the examiner doesn't have the proof needed to approve your claim. If you haven't been to the doctor in a long time, you can talk to your social security disability lawyer before you begin your application. Social Security deems some reasons for failing to comply with medical treatment acceptable, such as
- You're unable to afford treatment, and you don't have access to free or low-cost medical services.
- The side effects of your medication are worse than the symptoms.
- Your doctor has told you that there isn't an effective treatment for your condition.
- You are able to get by without treatment by structuring your activities to minimize or avoid symptoms.
- Medical treatment is against your religion.
Not Taking Your Medication As Prescribed
One of the things that the Social Security Administration takes into consideration is whether your statements are credible. The case examiner will look into your medical records to see if you sought treatment, and whether or not you've been complying with your doctor's recommendations. If you don't follow the doctor's orders, the examiner might assume that your condition isn't as severe as you've said it was. After all, if you're experiencing regular pain that's substantial enough to keep you from working, why wouldn't you take the pain pills prescribed by a doctor?
While working to avoid these three common mistakes doesn't guarantee that your disability application will be approved, it does improve your changes. Just remember, you should always check with your Social Security attorney before making any decision that could affect the outcome of your claim.