Below are the top 5 mistakes to avoid in your Social Security benefits claim.
1. Do not assume you have appealed.
Social Security has very clear rules about how you are to appeal Social Security benefit claim denials. Social Security offers different ways to appeal, but it is important that your attorney keeps proof of your appeal. New technology helps track paperwork. Like all of us, Social Security can lose things — even appeals. Proof of your appeal can keep you from having to start over under some circumstances. Talk with us if you have any further questions. To have us help you appeal or apply complete the form below.
2. Do not assume your doctors know what’s wrong with you.
Doctors are not mind-readers. If you go to doctors, they need to hear why you are there. If you don’t wish to “complain” or are embarrassed, realize that Social Security doesn’t care. If your medical records do not document your diagnoses and symptoms, Social Security will take your lack of symptoms at face value. It is far more difficult to prove to Social Security you have a medical problem if you haven’t first brought it up with your doctors. Find doctors you can trust with your medical problems now. Get the right treatment. Perhaps even explain your discomfort at talking openly. You deserve the best from your doctors, so communicate with them. Help your doctors to help you and, in turn, you will have better documentation of your disabilities.
3. Do not “self-medicate”.
No lecturing here, just hard facts. Social Security does not believe you are in pain simply because you are an alcoholic to cover it. Nor will Social Security believe you are depressed simply because you are addicted to meth to try to take it away. People can engage in extreme behaviors, including addiction, to self-medicate. Any chemical dependency issues, unless they are addressed, tend to make people applying for Social Security benefits less
credible, not more. Find the right professionals to tackle your self-medication issue, and also get treatment for the underlying cause. More often than not, Social Security will set aside chemical dependency issues once they are behind you. Social Security will then evaluate the severity of your underlying issues, be them physical, mental, or both.
4. Do not lie.
Is a lie always found out? Expect it. Social Security benefits programs, especially at the hearing level, are set up to confirm that what you say to your doctors matches what you say to Social Security. If you are not entirely upfront with doctors and other medical professionals, your medical records may show it. Be honest. Where objective medical evidence can’t go, credibility can carry you in Social Security claims. For example, the full extent of your low back pain or pain after a knee replacement must ultimately come from you. Depending on your medical problems, objective tests can only prove so much. Tell the truth to your doctors. Tell the truth to Social Security. Honestly with doctors helps you get the right treatment. Honestly with Social Security protects your credibility. Attorneys can only argue so much. At that point, you’ll never know when your character will count.
5. Do not go to your Social Security hearing unprepared.
You can go to your Social Security disability hearing alone if you want. You will meet your judge, the hearing monitor, and one or two experts who will testify about your claim. Will you understand what is going on? Will you be able to focus on the different questions the judge will ask you? Do you know your medical records, your limitations, and Social Security’s rules well enough to ask good questions of the medical and vocational expert (your “cross-examination”)? In short, will you know what you are doing? Think about it. If you are disabled and do not feel free, who should you bring in with you who knows your medical conditions, your limitations, and Social Security’s rules? That’s what our attorneys are for. One big goal of a Social Security hearing is to allow the federal judge to ask you questions to understand how your medical limitations affect your daily life. This goal is big enough for you. We can do the rest.
Call our law offices at DisabilityLawyer.com today to find out if you get get the legal help you need for your Social Security benefits claim. You can also click here
. Focus on your health. We’ll do the rest. DisabilityLawyer.com, experienced Social Security benefits lawyers you can trust.