Two Common Mistakes to Avoid When Filing for Social-Security Disability

Law Blog

When you file for social-security disability benefits, you shouldn't expect to be approved right away. This is often a long, complicated process, and there's no guarantee that you'll be approved. In fact, in 2015, the Social Security Administration denied approximately 68 percent of the applications received for social-security disability benefits. To improve your chances of approval, you should consider working with a disability attorney and avoiding these common mistakes.

Collecting Unemployment Benefits

Technically, the Social Security Administration can't deny a disability application solely because the applicant is collecting unemployment benefits. However, if you are collecting unemployment benefits and applying for disability benefits, you should consult a disability attorney before proceeding with your application. Here's why.

When you're receiving unemployment benefits, you're claiming that you need the benefits because while you're currently unemployed, you're available to work again when you find a job within your specific skill set. In fact, in most cases, those who are receiving unemployment benefits are required to apply for a certain number of jobs each week. The problem is that when you apply for social-security disability payments, you're stating that your disability has made it so that you will not be able to work for a period of at least 12 months—a contradiction to what you're claiming when receiving unemployment benefits.

This doesn't mean that you should stop your unemployment benefits before applying for social-security disability benefits, however. You simply need to consult an attorney. In some states, unemployment laws consider applicants "ready and available to work" if they are consistently applying for part-time jobs, and you may still qualify for disability benefits on a part-time income.

Not Seeing a Doctor

Disability examiners review the information in your medical records to determine whether you should be considered disabled. So documentation from your doctor is extremely important. If you haven't visited your doctor in a while, you might want to consult your disability attorney to see whether you have enough medical documentation to proceed with the application. If you don't have enough information on file, it might be smarter to wait until you consult your doctor a few more times before filing for social-security disability benefits. Remember, if you have seen your doctor, it's important that you follow your doctor's orders and take any medication prescribed to you as the doctor recommended.

Applying for social-security disability payments can be stressful, especially if you need the money to survive. Before you start the application process on your own, consult a disability attorney to make sure you have all of the documentation needed for the application process. You can find disability attorneys by visiting sites such as


14 December 2016