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Seven Mistakes to Avoid When Seeking Social Security Disability Benefits
Date:7/11/2008

ieves that she is capable of working in a day care center.

4. Exaggerating the impact of your disability. On the other end of the spectrum are people who want to make their condition appear worse than it is. For example, a man who uses a cane at a hearing before an administrative law judge but doesn’t normally use a cane would be over-representing his condition. “If the judge asks to look at the cane and sees the tip is not worn, the claim is immediately suspect, even though the claimant may have had a legitimate case if he’d just stuck to the unexaggerated truth,” Swierczek explained. “It is important to elaborate, but not exaggerate.”

5. Being vague about your work history. Knowing what the expectations are for your work, and showing accurately from the outset why you can’t perform this work any longer, is an essential part of qualifying for SSDI benefits.

For example, Swierczek said, a service technician might be required to drive for extended periods as part of the job. “If your impairment means you can only drive for 10 minutes without experiencing extreme pain, yet your job requires you drive in 60-minute stretches, you need to make it clear on your disability application what the work expectations are and what your limitations are,” said Swierczek.

“Otherwise, you may end up in double jeopardy: Your disability claim is rejected because the Social Security Administration believes you can still perform your work,” he said. “But you’re out of work because you really can’t meet the requirements of the job.”

6. Missing the appeals deadline. The Social Security Administration denies more than 60 percent of all initial SSDI applications, but there is a formal appea
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Seven Mistakes to Avoid When Seeking Social Security Disability Benefits
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