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Avoiding common errors during the Social Security Disability process

| Jun 17, 2014 | Social Security |

When people in Illinois apply for Social Security Disability benefits, it can be an extremely complicated process. Any errors can lead to a denial of the application and the necessity of filing an appeal which can take up to a year to go through. To prevent unnecessary problems, it is a good idea for people to educate themselves on these mistakes and how to avoid them.

Working during the application process

Often, people try to keep working while they wait for an answer from the Social Security Administration but this can be a mistake. Part of the evaluation process includes an examination of the applicant’s ability to work and their income level. If a person has remained with their job, despite the struggles that person is dealing with, and is earning over the allowed amount, the application will be denied. To strengthen their chances of receiving benefits, it is recommended that people avoid working.

Failing to follow doctor’s instructions

Generally, people’s failure to take medication or go through treatment options like physical therapy or seeing a counselor, can generate a denial on their SSD application.  However, in some situations, people can be exempt from this requirement if the following applies:

  • The symptoms of the disability are less severe than the symptoms of the prescription drugs
  • Religious beliefs prohibit the use of drugs or medical care
  • The person has no health insurance and is unable to afford the medical care needed
  • Doctor is unable to prescribe a treatment

Furthermore, the person may be able to avoid going through treatment if they can adjust their lifestyle to accommodate their disability. People who fall under one or more of these situations should make sure that they indicate this on their application.

Not providing all the facts

It can be difficult for people to admit that they are unable to do things that they could before or that they are struggling with their situation. Yet, this failure could be people’s undoing when it comes to their SSD application. Leaving out important details about a person’s disability could lead the SSA evaluator to believe that the condition is not as serious as they are saying.

To avoid making that mistake, people should be honest on their application about how the condition is affecting them. For example, if someone is having a hard time concentrating on work tasks or has been reprimanded because of their decreased ability to type or understand instructions, it is important for them to include that on their application.  Letters from co-workers, friends and family who have seen the effects of the disability should also be submitted.

For people to avoid unnecessary delays on their SSD application, they should meet with an experienced attorney.