Staying on the Good Side of Social Security Disability
If you have not been able to work at your job because of a medical condition, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. This government-sponsored program can provide claimants with a monetary payment each month, which helps to alleviate the financial burden caused by being out of work. It’s easy to get confused when applying for Social Security, however. The rules and details required can easily lead you to make mistakes and run afoul of the Social Security Administration (SSA). To help make sure that you don’t risk your opportunity for getting benefits, read on to learn about some common actions that could have the SSA accusing you of fraud.
1. Exaggerating the symptoms of your medical condition to your doctor. While this is certainly not the time to be modest or self-conscious about the level of your pain and discomfort, you don’t want to end up falsifying your medical condition. Be aware that you will face ongoing medical reviews, and Social Security examiners and the consulting doctors are trained to catch fakers.
2. Being dishonest about your education. The SSA looks at, among other things, your job history and experience, your training, and your formal education to determine your potential ability to be retrained for other positions. Don’t lie about your history, all information is verified and, if you are really qualified, you will be approved.
3. Under-reporting your income. You must only be earning under a certain amount of money each month to be approved for Social Security in the first place, and then, once approved, you cannot earn more than that under most circumstances. Currently, you can earn up to $1130.00 a month, and you must not be doing work that qualified you for benefits originally. For example, if you stay under the limit, but the work you are doing is just a part-time version of the same work that you swore you were unable to do in order to qualify for benefits, you are at risk of being dropped from the benefit roll. Additionally, getting paid “under the table” and not reporting that income is considered fraud.
4. Not reporting changes in your living situation to the SSA. You must tell the SSA about your marital status and how many people live in your home as part of the application process. Additionally, you must inform the SSA about any changes you make once you are approved. Taking in a paying roommate or getting married can change your income, which the SSA needs to know about as soon as possible.
Make sure that you are honest and report all changes to the SSA. For assistance in getting the Social Security benefits you need, contact a Social Security attorney like those at Gieg Law Offices.