If you have been injured seriously enough that you have applied to receive social security disability benefits, the wait for a final decision can be difficult. While you are waiting, there are certain things that you may not want to do that could cause you to receive a denial.
Working Before Approval
It would be best if you do not work while you are waiting for an initial decision. And although the temptation may be strong to work part-time while waiting for your claim to go through, you may want to avoid doing so during this period. It could be argued that since you are able to work even a small amount, you do not really need the benefits.
Once you have been approved, however, you should be able to go back to work on a limited basis. During the first nine months, referred to as the Trial Work Period, you will be able to make a maximum of $770 per month. After that, you will be allowed make $1,070 per month during the Extended Period of Eligibility. Both of these can be done without losing any of your benefits.
Going To School
Just like working during the waiting period, going to school could count against you while you are trying to prove your disability. The committee could state that you are well enough to attend classes. Therefore, they could decide that you are not as disabled as you claim to be.
Once you have started receiving benefits, you may be able to start going to school again. If you do, you will want to limit your course load per semester in order to keep from losing your benefits.
Moving Without Letting The Government Know
If you need to move while your disability claim is being processed, it is important that you let the government know your new address. You can either inform them yourself or have your attorney do it for you, if you have one.
Not giving the Social Security Administration your new address could negatively impact your decision in two ways. First, it may show them that you are not fully disclosing all information to them. Full disclosure and cooperation is a major key in being approved for your benefits.
Second, you may miss an important letter from the SSA that requires you to contact them or attend a hearing. For example, if they need a copy of your latest medical records by a certain date they may send a letter. If they send it to your old address, you may miss that deadline because it was delivered to the old address or forwarded to you after it was too late.
This could be viewed as noncompliance in their eyes. If the records are not received, they may deny your claim by default.
Refusing To Go To Prescribed Treatments
Once a doctor has stated that you are disabled, they may prescribe treatments such as physical therapy. It is important that you attend as many sessions as possible, especially while waiting for your benefits decision.
If your records show that you are not going to therapy, the committee may feel that you are noncompliant with your treatment and are not trying to get better. They may also decide that you are not injured as much as you say because you are not following your doctor's orders.
While the above may or may not give you a denial on your claim, they could jeopardize your chances. Before you do anything major while awaiting your decision, you may want to find out more information from your social security disability lawyer. They can best advise you on what to do.