5 Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for Social Security Disability

Post by: Eric Jones | Posted Date: October 7th, 2014 | Categories: Social Security Disability


If you are an Ohio worker who has not been able to return to work because of a physical or mental disability, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability.  Finding the right Social Security disability attorney is important, but so is avoiding these 5 common mistakes when applying for Social Security disability



  1. “I can’t afford a lawyer, so I should just do this on my own.”

Don’t assume you can’t afford a disability lawyer.  One major mistake many people make is they think they can navigate this complicated process by themselves.  It is important to have a Social Security Disability attorney who knows how to proceed with Social Security Disability Claims.  When going up against an unfamiliar system, one can’t afford not to hire an attorney to help protect ones rights in court.  Not only will the attorney be familiar with the process, but he or she will also stay up to date with the constantly changing legal framework surrounding the disability claims.  Having an advocate in the field with a broad knowledge base is very helpful in navigating the social security disability claims process.

  1. “I can apply for Social Security Disability and Unemployment at the same time.”

Don’t apply for Social Security and Unemployment at the same time.  The two send drastically different messages to the finders of fact.  When you apply for Social Security Disability, you are stating that you have been unable to substantially perform work activity for one year, and you will likely not be able to perform work tasks for the next twelve months.  Unemployment claims, on the other hand, state that you are ready and able to perform work, but you have not found a job that fits your skill set.  To learn more about the potential pitfalls of filing both a Social Security Disability claim and an Unemployment claim, it is best to set up a meeting with a Social Security Disability Attorney to discus your specific legal position.

  1. “I don’t need to visit the doctor, and I don’t like the medicine prescribed, I’ll be fine.”

Don’t skip out on doctor’s appointments when you are on thinking about applying for Social Security Disability.  It is important that your physician document all health concerns, as it will make the fact-finding portion of the disability claim more fruitful.  Regular doctor’s appointments demonstrate a desire and ability to help oneself heal.  If Social Security discovers that you are filing a claim for which you have not sought treatment, then the claim will generally be denied.  It is a way for the agency to measure the validity of the claims. 

Additionally, it is important to follow any doctors advice, including taking the medication as prescribed.  Any deviation from the proscribed treatment may lead the agency reviewing your claim to conclude the condition is not as debilitating or severe as you claim.  Few acceptable reasons exist for failing to comply with treatment and medication proscribed by your doctor.  To review if these acceptable reasons fall in your case, please contact a Social Security Disability attorney. 

  1. “I don’t need to act right away; I can wait a year or two to file my claim.”

Don’t wait to apply for Social Security Disability.  The proceedings are time-consuming and can often take a matter of months to be resolved.  If you feel you are entitled to receive Social Security Disability, it is imperative that you act quickly. Finding the right Social Security Disability attorney is key to an efficient claims process.  The right attorney will be able to walk you through all the steps of the process, and give you a timeline reflecting your unique case.  

  1. “I’ve heard that if you get denied a claim, that’s the end of the line”

Don’t think that once you have been denied Social Security Disability, your options are exhausted.  It is important that you appeal the decision, and prepare for the appeal correctly.  Social Security Disability lawyers are priceless in the appeals process, as they will have the training and understanding to help navigate the lengthy process.  If you are initially denied, then you are well within your rights to appeal.  Once you learn of your denies application, you will appeal using what is called a request for reconsideration.  If your claim is denied a second time, you are still able to appeal to the second level of the appeals process, which involves requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge.  Again, it is important to remember to find a personable attorney who can work with you in this time, and help with the request for reconsideration.  If your claim makes it to the administrative law judge, an attorney will be crucial to understanding the process and helping you navigate the system.

The attorneys at Jones Law Group have significant experience working on Social Security Disability Appeals. We can help you with your case if SSA denies you benefits. Get in touch with our Columbus, Ohio Social Security Disability appeals attorneys today if you would like to learn more about our legal services. Call (614) 545-9998 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation with our team.

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