Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What Will Harm My Claim in San Francisco?

The Social Security Administration has certain rules and guidelines that you must follow in order to be awarded benefits in San Francisco. You should keep these in mind when you are applying for benefits, because they will show up in your records and not complying with the rules can adversely affect your claim.

Working - This will be a problem because when applying for disability you are asserting that you are willing but unable to work. Therefore to actually be working is a contradiction and a large indicator to the Social Security Administration, that you are not disabled.

Receiving Unemployment – Similar to working, this is an indication that you are not disabled, because you are certifying to the Unemployment Office that you are willing and able to work, but unable to find a job. This, again, is a contradiction to stating that you are unable to work.

Drug and Alcohol Use – Recent drug and alcohol abuse, especially if it causing any of your conditions to worsen, will be a reason for your claim to be denied. It is important to know that past use or even use that has caused the conditions may not be causation for a denial, although in these cases it is crucial to have a doctor’s note stating that you are no longer using drugs or alcohol. However, you cannot do anything to make your current conditions worse. It is a good idea to seek treatment for abuse or addiction problems, in order to show that it is not a contributing factor to your disabling conditions and that you are doing what you can to get better.

Lack of Treatment or Non-Compliance – It is important that you have regular and recent medical treatment, in order to support your claim. It is important because Social Security needs medical evidence that supports your allegations. Just saying you have a particular condition is not good enough. You need a doctor who also says so. In addition, it will be an issue if you are going to see a doctor, but are not following his or her instructions as to medications and/or treatment. Again, you cannot do anything to make your conditions worse. Social Security will not want to award benefits to someone who could possible recover from their disabling conditions if they took their medications and followed their doctor’s instructions.

Prior Denial – If you have already applied for benefits and been denied, you will not be allowed to re-apply with the same claim. If you have new or worsening conditions with new supportive medical records, then you may be able to apply again. But if a decision has already been made and you have exhausted the appeals process, you cannot file the exact same application all over again.

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

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