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Fighting for your Social Security claims can be very difficult. Our firm’s been doing this for over 20 years, so we know a few things about getting people approved for their benefits. While every case is different, and there are a lot of unique factors that make up most cases, there are some universal truths for all Social Security Disability Claims. Today we’re going to look at 5 Tips on Getting Approved For Social Security Disability, you need to remember in order to benefit your Social Security Claim.
For instance, you can’t state that your back is what’s keeping you from working if you’ve never been diagnosed with a back condition.
We see that the lack of diagnosis is a lot more common in psych conditions. Many people will argue that their anxiety or depression is keeping them from working even though they’ve never been diagnosed with these conditions.
Or, we see a lot of people who state that their wife or husband thinks they have a psych condition, so they want social security because of that. Your spouse can’t diagnose you with any conditions unless they are a doctor, and even then it would seem a little suspicious.
Too often people fail to treat their conditions, and this can cause a Social Security claim to be denied. If you were diagnosed with a back condition in 2003, but haven’t treated for it since 2004, you are a lot less likely to have a favorable decision in 2016 then if you would’ve treated for the past 12 years.
Your conditions have to be chronic. This means that the issue is not going away, or is likely getting worse. Further, if you’re stating that you can’t work because of something like a back issue; your evidence needs to support that also. If your records show that you have slight back pain, this likely won’t keep you from working most jobs.
This may seem a little odd, and honestly, it does not apply to a lot of people, but certain people don’t qualify for Social Security Disability benefits even after applying for social security benefits because of where they’ve worked. SSD is based on work credits.
Work Credits are earned by way of paying the Social Security Tax on your pay stub. Every week I see this tax on my paycheck. In fact, when a lot of our intake specialists are explaining this to new clients, they state that it’s almost like paying into a retirement plan.
The more you pay into the tax, and the more credits you have, the more lucrative your possible monthly benefit. Like I said before, most of you won’t have to worry about this because most employers deduct social security tax from your paycheck. If you’re a teacher, work for the railroad industry, or have been paid under the table for most of your life, you may not have enough work credits.
Let’s talk about being paid under the table first. It’s very unlikely that you will have social security taxes taken out of your pay if you’re being paid under the table. In fact, that defeats the entire purpose. So, if you’ve worked most of your life by being paid under the table, you won’t have many work credits.
Teachers and Railroad employees are legit though. Some teachers unions, and some railroad outlets, have their own retirement programs. These people pay into that program as opposed to social security. Actually, this is such a big deal that the retirement board has its own website for retirement.
Just a heads up though, the interface is awful and it’s not very easy to use. Regardless, this program is great, and the special retirement some teachers get is pretty good. If you are in this career field, make sure you’re aware of what happens if you become disabled prior to retirement age.
In some situations, you would receive a disability benefit through this program, and in some situations you wouldn’t. If you couldn’t get disability benefits through your retirement program there is a good chance that you won’t have very many work credits, and then you’re not likely going to be eligible for Social Security Disability.
Social Media is a really big deal these days. This blog is considered a part of social media, and if you’re reading this you’re likely on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, or any other service that’s out there. The fouth Tips on Getting Approved For Social Security Disability is Do not self-incriminate by way of Social Media.
If you’re trying to argue you can’t work, but then post pictures of yourself chopping wood on Facebook, you’re probably going to get denied. I’ve even seen a truck driver say that he couldn’t do his job anymore because he had a bad back, but then post pictures of himself competing in a demolition derby.
Before you try to argue that this is overkill, keep in mind that judges do look at these sorts of things.
Another Tip on Getting Approved For Social Security Disability is Prepared and aware
I hate this process takes so long. Someone very close to me had to battle for years to get her social security benefits, and it was tough to watch.
Years later I would come to work for this law firm and knew that if she would have talked with us first, her claims wouldn’t have been so difficult. One truth remains though, these claims take a long time. Generally, you’re looking at 18 months or more for the entire process.
This can be a difficult time especially if you are on a fixed income. Just be aware that there is not much that can be done to speed up the process. Knowing that it can take a while before you begin will keep you from being surprised later.
When we’re young, none of us think we’ll have to pursue a claim for social security disability in our lives. It catches most people off guard. If you find yourself lost in the process, you can reach out for help. We’ve been battling the SSA for over 20 years. Fill out this form or call us for a free consult, 1-877-526-3457.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law