Biggest Mistakes made when applying for Disability
Not meeting with the Representative (Lawyer) at the beginning of your case. Your representative should explain the five step sequential evaluation process that the Social Security Administration uses in deciding your case as well as how the process works and answer any questions you may have. 3.3
Not picking a “Lawyer” from the beginning to represent you. I am biased because I am a lawyer who has represented claimants for almost 20 years; however there are “representatives” who will offer to represent you but they are not attorneys and often do not know the numerous laws that can affect your case.3
Not focusing on the medical conditions that really matter in your case. If you have high blood pressure, sure you have to treat that but because it rarely causes any real limitations in you ability to work it is usually not relevant in your case. You need to focus on treating the conditions that cause limitations that prevent you from working and you can never have too much of that kind of medical evidence if you want to win your case. Focus on objective medical evidence that clearly show your conditions and how they limit your ability to work.
Not keeping your lawyer updated as to the new doctors you are seeing and any new objective evidence that will help win your case.
Not meeting with your attorney prior to your hearing. I often hear from claimants that have never met the person representing them until about 15 minutes before you go in front of the judge. I always meet with my clients a day to a week before the hearing to make sure the record is complete and that we both understand the theory by which you may be granted benefits. It also can be helpful to answer any last questions a claimant my have with respect to the hearing as well as alleviate some of the anxiety that every claimant has before their hearing.