Attorney Huong Lam

What Advice Do You Have For Those Applying For Social Security Disability Benefits?

First, it’s important to communicate all the information in a straightforward way. Always be truthful. Don’t exaggerate or minimize your impairment. Over exaggerating your impairment can negatively affect your case because your credibility can be questioned. For an example, if you are asked by the Social Security Disability Office, “On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most excruciating pain you’ve ever felt, what is your pain level on a daily basis?” If you state that you consistently feel a pain level of 10, you would be deemed to have overly exaggerated your ailments. On the other hand, if you minimize your impairment, you have not given the disability office a true depiction of your condition. It is important to consult with your Social Security Disability attorney and have them help you prepare testimony for your hearing or help you prepare written answers on your Social Security Disability application.

Second, pay attention to instructions. Provide all information requested in an organized, complete, manner. The disability process can be very grueling and time consuming. It requires organization as well as experience in filling out all the necessary applications, appeals, and request for hearings. Your attorney can help you gather all necessary medical records in a timely manner and ensure that your file is complete before it is submitted. If you submit an incomplete file, your chances of getting a fully favorable decision will most likely be very difficult.

Third, pay attention to deadlines. If your application is denied, you have limited time in which to appeal your denial. Failing to take action can result in your rights being lost. Once your first application has been denied, you have 60 days from the date of denial to submit a request for reconsideration. If you miss this deadline, you will have to refile your initial application again. This delays your process and puts you back to the end of the line. It is important to have an experienced Social Security Disability attorney on your case to help monitor these time sensitive deadlines. Missing a deadline one year into the process can result in starting from day one all over again. Your attorney can help you keep track of these deadlines while you concentrate on your medical treatment and your health.