What not to do when filing for Social Security disability
Here are some common problems I see with my own clients and cases when attempting to win a Social Security disability case.
By the way, unless you have an experienced Social Security disability attorney, he or she may not have seen these kinds of problems. It actually takes a couple of years to see how the Administration can completely derail your case.
That being said, here we go:
Problem Number One:
Moving to a significantly different location while your case is being processed.
Everything government related has jurisdiction over you. Your local cops have jurisdiction if you break the law. Your county judge and government has jurisdiction over you. Your individual IRS office has jurisdiction over you. Your own state has jurisdiction over you. And yes, even your local Social Security office has jurisdiction over your case. Wanna really screw up your case? -Move during and while filing for disability. If you get denied, your new local SSA office will often take an inordinate amount of time to take control of your case.
Try and stay put during your disability case. Or, if you have to move, go to your new local office and inform them that you have moved. If you filed an appeal and have moved since you originally filed, go to your new local SSA office and inquire into its status. Make sure the representative personally sends your case to the Disability Determination Service in your state. While these errors are rare, they do happen in significant numbers and you could be the one in which your case is almost suspended indefinitely until you personally take the initiative to get it going forward again.
Problem Number Two:
Not immediately filing for your SSI interview if you do not have enough credits to qualify for SSDI.
There's not enough time to go into work credits at this point, but if you know you do not have enough credits to qualify for SSDI, then after you file for Social Security disability, you need to contact SSA and request an SSI interview. Also, if you do not know how much you would qualify for in disability benefits, it is always smart to contact SSA and request an SSI interview anyway. Even if you have enough work credits and you don't need SSI, you can always abandon your SSI claim at a later date.
Not going to the doctor within the last six months. You have to stop thinking that your old medical records are sufficient to prove you are disabled. If you are too ill to work, chances are there is no cure quick enough to put you back to work. So, start going to the doctor, even if it is a cheap family clinic or county healthcare, to build medical EVIDENCE of your impairments. You're not trying to get well, you are attempting to build enough medical evidence to convince SSA that your impairments keep you from working a full-time sedentary and unskilled job. That's all SSA judges your ability to work, so work on building enough medical evidence to convince anyone you are unable to work.
Not understanding the criteria by which you are found disabled. If you are under the age of 50, then you have to show that you are unable to do basically ANY work within the national economy. This means, you are completely incapable of performing any unskilled type of work sitting down the majority of the day. Once you are over the age of 50, then the real determination is whether you possess transferable work skills. (This can all be explained further, but you need to know how you are measured in regards to being able to work). Your age and past work, at times, becomes so important, that these things are just as important as your alleged impairments. The better you understand this thought process, the better you can prepare to show you truly are disabled.
We represent claimants throughout Texas and Oklahoma fighting for their Social Security disability benefits. Please always feel free to contact our office at: (888) 780-9125.
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