What NOT Do When Filing For Social Security Disability

If you have a medical or mental condition that makes it impossible to work at your job, the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides a valuable benefit. Unfortunately, the entire application process and the procedures that must be followed can be frustrating and confusing. It's so easy to make a mistake while filling out your application and trying to comply with the many SSA requests for medical records and more information. If you fail to complete the application process correctly, you may end up being denied benefits. Read on to learn about the things you do not want to do when applying for Social Security benefits.

Make your medical condition seem worse than it really is. The rules about medical conditions are strict, and if you try to fudge the facts a little, you may get denied. You must be able to provide medical records that clearly show you have the condition that you claim to have. The SSA will follow up with a request for a medical exam given by one of their contract doctors if they need more information about your claim or if they have incomplete records, so be honest about your condition and don't attempt to get benefits without being able to prove a record of being treated for that condition you claim to have.

Have a fraud conviction in any government program. You may not want to bother applying for SSA benefits if you have already been convicted of fraud in another government-sponsored program. For example, if you have a conviction associated with the food stamp program, housing assistance, government-backed mortgage and student loans, Medicaid, the IRS and more, your application will be summarily denied. Don't attempt to hide your identity by using another person's Social Security number, since this will only get you in even more hot water.

Be less than honest about your education. You may be wondering what your educational history has to do with Social Security benefits, but your age and how much education you have is factored into your eligibility. The more education you have, the more likely you are to be able to find alternate work that may not be affected by your medical condition. You should know that the SSA verifies all background information on your application.

Take "under the table" money for work done. The SSA requires that you report your income for the past year, the current year and for each and every month you get benefits. There is a limit on how much money you can earn and still get benefits, and the amount varies somewhat from year to year. Be aware that any money you receive should be reported, even if it's in the form of cash. Don't risk being accused of fraud by hiding income.

If you've been turned down for benefits, contact a Social Security disability attorney and get some support for your appeal hearing.