When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, you need to make sure that you are careful with your actions to ensure that your application can go through. There are a few surprising things you could do that would harm your case. Below are a few strategies to follow to avoid that happening.
Hire an Attorney
The social security disability process is complicated and can be difficult to navigate, which is why it is smart to hire an attorney to assist you with your case. Unfortunately, when you are strapped for cash, it can difficult to even think about hiring an attorney.
However, a social security disability lawyer can work on a fee agreement, only getting paid if you are awarded benefits. So, if you are awarded benefits, then your attorney will legally get a certain percentage of your back benefits. You don't need to be able to pay your attorney upfront.
Stay Away from Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment benefits are designed for individuals who have lost their job but are actively looking for a new job. Social security disability benefits are designed for individuals who are not able to work because of a physical disability and who have not been able to work for up to a year.
Although you are not banned from applying for unemployment benefits while pursuing social security benefits, any jobs that you apply for will be closely examined to determine the level of physical labor the job requires. Applying for jobs can make it look like you do not qualify for social security disability benefits. Although applying for unemployment is not against the rules, it is often frowned upon, so make sure you discuss this closely with your attorney.
Working Too Much
Finally, you need to make sure that you are not working too much. It may seem counter-intuitive, but you shouldn't be working or earning more than a set amount per month in order to qualify for social security disability benefits. If you are making too much money, it will look like you are engaging in substantial gainful activity, also known more formally as SGA, which can hurt your ability to earn the benefits that you need.
Talk with your lawyer about the type of work that you can do while waiting for your application to go through. Make sure that you don't exceed the monthly income limit that would signify that you are bringing in gainful wages. Your attorney can help you navigate working while you are applying for benefits.