Four Social Security Disability Myths
The process of applying for Social Security Disability is complex, and the fact that there's so much misinformation out there makes it all the more confusing. To avoid jeopardizing your possibility of successfully applying for Social Security Disability benefits, it's important to separate the facts from the misconceptions. Below are some of the most common misconceptions about Social Security Disability that you need to be aware of. Myth # 1: The Social Security Administration (SSA) Staff Are Eager to Help You. The job of the SSA's staff is not to help you personally, but to assist you in completing and adjudicating your application. Unlike advocates or social workers, the SSA's staff will not advocate on your behalf. It's your responsibility to check and be sure that the staff orders your medical records. Furthermore, you must obtain any medical evidence that's more than a year old and get doctors who have treated you to write statements on your behalf. Myth # 2: You Don't Need a Lawyer early in the claims process. Sometimes a staff member at SSA will advise you against retaining an attorney early in the process. However, hiring an experienced lawyer is advantageous at any stage during your claim, because the chances of having your application approved will increase significantly with a lawyer's help and expertise. The attorney can help you obtain and submit to SSA a complete set of medical records. Further, the attorney may also be able to submit custom forms from your treating physicians (“Residual Functional Capacity” forms) that will greatly improve your chances of winning your claim early. Myth # 3: You Should Be Dramatic at the Social Security Disability HearingDo not dress sloppily and try to act needy and miserable at your hearing just to convince the judge that you're deserving of Social Security Disability benefits. It's not good to dress and act overly formal at your hearing, either, but don't behave in a way that would make the judge assume that you're exaggerating your condition. Otherwise, the judge will think you're putting on a show and your appeal could be denied. Myth #4: You Do Not Need a Social Security Disability Attorney Because You Can Do Everything By Yourself. You're not legally required to hire a Social Security Disability attorney, but most people applying for disability benefits are unable to do everything by themselves because of their fragile health condition. That's why they're applying for disability benefits in the first place! And contrary to popular belief, the job of Social Security Disability attorneys does not merely consist of showing up at court. They do a lot behind the scenes that clients don't see. Their responsibilities include requesting medical records and statements from doctors, framing legal arguments, researching medical conditions, preparing for hearings, and much more. Need a Social Security Disability Attorney? An experienced, reputable Social Security Disability attorney will help you avoid common application mistakes and obtain the benefits to which you're entitled. Please fill out our online contact form for a free evaluation.