If you can no longer work at your job because of a medical or mental condition, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. This government-run program uses funds that you and everyone else has had deducted from their pay checks to provide you with some financial relief on a monthly basis. The application process for benefits can be long and complicated, however, and even when things go perfectly it can seem to take a long time to finally be approved. You can help improve your chances for a quicker approval by following the below guidelines, however, so read on to learn more.
Be accurate with your application.
To qualify, you must not only have a disorder that is covered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), but you also have to prove that you have the condition. Simply stating that you have a medical condition, like fibromyalgia, is not enough. You must indicate the correct diagnosis on the application and be prepared to show that you have received treatment for it and are continuing to do so. If that were not enough, the SSA may require you to be examined by a doctor of their choosing to ascertain your condition. Be sure not to exaggerate or try to submit a false claim, not only will you be denied benefits, but Social Security fraud is a serious offense.
Speaking of fraud, it could come back to haunt you.
Since Social Security Disability is a government-run program, it can share information with other government-run programs. This means that any wrongdoing on your part in other programs, such as food stamps, the IRS, housing assistance, medicare or medicaid and more could end up causing your application to be denied.
Be honest about your educational experience.
Education level is just one of many factors the SSA takes into consideration when evaluating your claim. Those with more education are simply more likely to be able to be retrained for other positions, so having more education might mean a greater chance of having your claim denied or at least having more frequent checks on your disability in the future. Lying on your application is a bad idea, however, since the SSA has access to a volume of information about you and your education level.
Pay close attention to dates.
Your date of disability is but one of several details that you will need to pay special attention to; an estimate should not be used. Since you may be eligible for back pay going back to the date that you originally became unable to work due to your disability, you must take pains to get the date correct. The SSA will check with your last employer to verify the dates, so be accurate or risk delaying your claim.
If, despite your best efforts at applying, you have been turned down for benefits, talk to a Social Security Disability attorney for assistance with your appeal. Don't give up, you still have a chance to get the benefits you need and deserve.