As your health continued to deteriorate, you may have found yourself unable to do the tasks you had done in the past. This included your daily household chores, but it may have been more evident at work. If performing your duties, being on your feet or trying to get through the workday without rest became impossible, you may have had no choice but to leave your job. Now you have growing concerns about your continued ability to earn a living.
Applying for Social Security Disability is an option if you have a qualifying medical condition that has resulted in your inability to work for at least 12 months. Because the SSD process from application to payment of benefits can take months — sometimes years — you certainly want to avoid any mistakes that could delay or jeopardize your benefits.
Medical care is essential
One of the most serious mistakes people make when applying for SSD is failing to receive appropriate medical attention. The judge who will review your case will not simply take your word for it when you testify at your hearing. Unless you receive consistent medical treatment at least every few months, your application may lack the evidence a judge requires to make a decision in your favor.
Your family doctor may not be qualified to diagnose and treat your condition adequately, and limiting your care to a general practitioner may harm your potential for a successful SSD claim. A judge will be looking for proof that your illness is serious, and the medical opinion of a specialist is far more persuasive than that of a family doctor.
Avoid these mistakes
In addition to not receiving adequate medical care, other actions that may disqualify you from disability benefits include the following:
- Working part time
- Attempting to return to work for periods longer than three months
- Seeking benefits for an idiopathic or difficult to diagnose illness, such as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome
- Claiming disability based on numerous simultaneous medical conditions
- Misusing prescription medications or abusing alcohol or illegal drugs
Perhaps the most valuable thing you can do to improve your chances is to have thorough and specific medical documentation of your illness and its incapacitating effects on your life. In addition to this, the assistance of an Ohio attorney can certainly help you avoid many of the common mistakes people make when applying for SSD benefits.