When you are out of work after becoming injured, there are several steps you might be tempted to take to help you ease the financial burden you are placed under. However, some of these steps can increase the odds that you will not be able to receive Social Security Disability benefits or may affect the number of benefits that you receive.
1. Continuing to Work
To apply for benefits, you must not be engaged in substantial gainful activity. If you are injured, you may be tempted to apply for benefits as soon as possible because you anticipate being unable to work. However, this can lead to your claim being denied. If you require several accommodations to be able to perform your work, you may fall under the maximum amount you are allowed to earn.
If you believe that your work may prevent you from receiving benefits, speak with an attorney. You may be able to claim an exception if you were simply attempting to return to work but discovered that you were not able to work due to your disability. Also, if you are self-employed, you will need to follow different standards for what is considered substantial gainful employment.
2. Filing for Unemployment Benefits
When you apply for unemployment benefits, you are stating that you are ready and willing to work. However, if you apply for SSDI benefits, you are stating that you are not able to work and need help from Social Security. Because these are two contradictory statements, you might be more likely to see your SSDI benefits denied. If you have already applied for unemployment, but believe that you should instead have applied for SSDI benefits, you should contact an attorney for help.
3. Not Checking Your SSDI Status
After you have applied for SSDI, you will need to check on the status of your claim in the future. By contacting the SSA office, you will be able to receive an update on your claim status. However, you won't receive that much information on when a decision will be made regarding your case. However, if you don't know where you are in your SSDI case, you won't know what to do next.
Fortunately, if you are ever stuck when you are trying to figure out how to move forward with your claim, Social Security Disability lawyers are there to help you understand what benefits you should apply for and how to increase your chances of being approved.