· The best way to ensure that your claim is handled properly is to hire an attorney. Your disability attorney will stay on top of all paperwork and requests from Social Security and make sure that all your medical records have been received. For more information, visit us at www.socialsecuritylaw.com.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
The 5 Biggest Mistakes When Applying For Social Security Disability Benefits -- And How To Avoid Them!
Are you pursuing a Social Security disability claim in San Francisco? The process of applying for disability can be a lengthy process, avoid these 5 costly mistakes so you don't end up dragging your case out further, or even worse, getting denied!
1) Incomplete Records- One of the most important, if not the most important, piece of information you and your representative will provide to the Social Security Administration is your medical records. It is important that you frequently see your treating physician(s) and obtain documentation related to your visits. A representative can help you both obtain your medical records and ensure that they are forwarded during any stage of your application.
2) Lack of Specificity- Many claimants will say something in their application like, “I just sit and watch TV all day.” While this statement seems reasonable, it will be interpreted by the Social Security Administration to mean that you could sit and answer phones all day instead for gainful employment. It is important on your application to be as specific as possible related to what you can actually do. So instead of saying, “I sit and watch TV all day” you should explain how long you can sit in one place without having to lay down, stand up, or readjust.
3) Loss of Contact With The Social Security Administration- Many applications are denied simply because The Social Security Administration is unable to find the claimant. It is very important that you notify your representation and the SSA of any change of address or contact information or you may be denied Disability Benefits simply because you missed some form or update.
4) Drug and Alcohol Abuse- You may be denied Social Security Disability Benefits if drug or alcohol is a contributing factor to your disability. It is important that you do not abuse substances in order to qualify for benefits.
5) Giving Up- Unfortunately the process of applying and obtaining Social Security Disability Benefits is often times a long one. Often it will take over 2 years from the time of initial application until benefits are awarded! Even if your initial application is denied, with the help of your representation you will have many more chances of being awarded benefits (including an official appeals process and eventually the opportunity to state your case in front of an Administrative Law Judge). It is very important you continue to stay in contact with your representative and the SSA as well as continue to see your doctors, though the process may be long eventually you will be able to win your benefits!