The process of filing for social security disability benefits is often complicated and long, which is discouraging because many applications are denied. In fact, the Social Security administration denied about 68 percent of the applications it received for disability benefits in 2015. To increase the chance of having your social security disability application approved, avoid these common errors.
Collecting Unemployment During the Application Process
Did you know that the Social Security Administration can't technically deny your application for disability benefits solely because you're receiving unemployment payments? However, if you're on unemployment, you should discuss your options with an attorney that specializes in social security disability benefits before applying because it does send a mixed message.
When you apply for social security disability benefits, you are stating that you will be or already are unable to work for a period of 12 months. However, when you file an unemployment claim, you're technically stating that you're available to work as soon as you find a job that fits your skill set. Additionally, part of your unemployment claim requires you to apply for a certain amount of jobs every week. You wouldn't be applying for jobs if you were unable to work. While you can't be denied disability benefits for receiving unemployment, your examiner can take it into consideration when he/she is trying to determine whether or not you should actually be considered disabled.
In some states, unemployment laws consider people as "ready and available to work" if they are actively applying for part-time jobs. If you're only applying for part-time work, you may still qualify for disability benefits. However, because the application process can be complicated, you should still speak to a lawyer before filing.
Not Going to a Doctor
The information that's included in your medical records is part of the information that disability examiners use to determine whether you're disabled. Without proper documentation, there may not be enough proof to prove your disability. So if you haven't been to see you doctor in awhile, you should consult a social security disability lawyer before submitting your application to make sure you have the documentation required for approval. There are certain instances that failing to comply with your doctor's treatment recommendations is considered acceptable by the Social Security Administration, including:
- Not being able to pay for treatment and not having access to low-cost or free medical services.
- The medication causes side effects that are worse than your actual symptoms.
- There isn't a treatment available for your condition that is effective.
- You can manage without treatment if you structure your daily activities so that your symptoms are minimized or completely avoided.
- The recommended medical treatment goes against your religious beliefs.
While avoiding these mistakes won't guarantee approval of your application, it will improve the chances. If you have questions or concerns regarding the application process, talk to a social security disability attorney such as those at the Diamond Law Offices.