Social Security Disability SSI – mistakes not to make 6

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#6 – Don’t make important decisions on your social security disability or SSI disability case based solely on what a friend, relative, or neighbor has told you. It’s just not a good idea.

Now, let me clarify. I’m not saying that you should completely discount the advice you’re given from people that you know. Some of this advice may actually be helpful, particularly if it comes from someone who has been through the disability filing and appeal process.

However, even from these individuals you can get faulty advice. Why? Because most disability claimants will only get a very limited view of how the system operates and, thus, will gain limited perceptions of why the system operates as it does.

Here’s a good example. I don’t know how many times I’ve been by a claimant, after they contacted me, that they filed a new disability application (shortly after being denied on a prior application). When I ask them why this was done, the answer has generally been equivalent to “That’s what someone told me to do. They said that you never get approved the first time you apply for disability so you need to apply again”.

Imagine the sound of a buzzer on the old Family Feud show. Yes, the majority of all applicants will be denied on an initial disability application. No, you should not file a brand new application if you get denied (in 99 out of 100 cases this is true). What should you do instead? File an appeal.

Now, in the example given above, you have to ask yourself, why would a former disability claimant give this kind of advice to a current disability claimant? That’s a good question and I’m absolutely sure that I don’t absolutely know the answer.

However, here’s my guess: I’ve noticed that a fair number of disability claimants confuse the concept of “appealing” with the concept of “filing a new application”. So, it may be that the individual who offered advice meant their friend (or neighbor or relative) should have filed an appeal (which, incidentally, a denied claimant should almost always do).

However, and unfortunately, this advice was misinterpreted, leaving the recipient of the advice to think they should file a new application (again, the sound of the wrong-answer buzzer).

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