Suffering from an injury that has negative impacts on your employment can seem insurmountable. Even though working may cause you excruciating pain or other debilitating effects, you may feel as if you have no other choice but to try to work through the pain in order to gain an income. However, your condition may get to a point at which you simply cannot work.
If your disability presents such an issue that you cannot realistically work, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. In order to gain such benefits, your disability must meet certain criteria — such as preventing you from doing any work for at least a year — and you must submit an application to the Social Security Administration for approval by the necessary parties. Unfortunately, this process may take a considerable amount of time, and mistakes could result in a delayed process or even a denial of benefits.
Trying to work
As someone who has worked hard for the majority of your life, the idea of sitting around and waiting for SSDI approval may seem unthinkable. Because the application and appeals process can take years to complete — especially if your application faces an initial denial, as most do — you may think you should at least attempt to work in order to gain an income. Though this idea may seem valiant, it could harm your chances at SSDI.
Because a qualifying disability must prevent you from working for at least 12 months, if you try to work after submitting your SSDI application, a judge may view those attempts as an ability to work. As a result, the court may deny your application.
Attempts at self-medication
If your disability causes you considerable pain, you may attempt to self-medicate by using alcohol or illegal substances in hopes of dulling that pain. However, SSDI does not cover conditions relating to drug or alcohol problems, and any evidence of this use may negatively affect your benefits application, even if your disability is not directly related to drugs or alcohol use.
Failure to seek medical treatment
A serious disability or medical condition that results in your inability to work may require continual treatment. Of course, seeking such treatment when on a limited income may prove challenging. Unfortunately, if you do not seek regular checkups and treatment in attempts to save money, a judge reviewing your SSDI case may feel that your lack of medical attention indicates that your condition is not severe.
Because applying for and obtaining SSDI can prove difficult for anyone, you may wish to find out more information on the application process and steps you could take to better your chances of approval.