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Social Security Disability FAQ’s

Social Security Disability FAQ’s
By Nicholas Wearne, Attorney
Social Security Disability
Snow, Carpio & Weekley
Unemployment and Other Potential Roadblocks to Social Security Disability Benefits

The social security system is not for the faint of heart.  It is a long, hard, and harsh road that can be financially devastating.  It can take months if not years of waiting while you are trying to get approved for benefits.  Clients often struggle financially because they are no longer working and are forced to live with family or friends.  Many clients apply for food stamps and AHCCCS insurance in order to make ends meet.  Some clients are lucky enough to have a workers compensation case going while they apply for social security benefits so they have some form of continued income.  The matter of fact is clients are forced to explore options they perhaps had not previously considered due to the financial hardship.  But be cautious as your explore these options.  Below are some examples of roadblocks that people run into which prevent them from getting social security benefits.

Going back to work:

Clients will call me informing me that they need to go back to work because the application process for social security disability is taking too long.  Sometimes you can work while you are waiting for a determination on your social security benefits but be very cautious and consult with an attorney regarding what you will be doing and how much you are going to make.  Certain work, or making too much money, could completely derail your chances of ever getting approved.

Working under the table:

After hearing they should not work, some clients then proceed to work under the table and do not pay taxes hoping that social security will never find out.  The Social Security Administration Judges will often ask you about what if any kind of work you are doing.  Lying to social security disability about what you are and are not doing for work is considered fraud and could result in serious consequences.  Again, if you are considering working under the table speak with an attorney about what you can and cannot do so that you can be honest about it at the hearing.

Applying for unemployment:

Applying for unemployment is something I advise all of my clients against.  On its face it is seemingly harmless.  Perhaps you were fired from your job due to your illness.  You cannot get disability benefits for periods in which you were collecting unemployment.  Unemployment requires you to be looking for a job.  You essentially certify that you are able and willing to work but merely cannot find a job.  When you apply for social security disability we are trying to prove that you cannot work.  Unemployment may be tempting but do not apply if you intend to apply for social security disability benefits.

If you or someone you know has been injured at work or suffers from a medical condition or injury that will keep them from working for 12 months or longer, contact Snow, Carpio & Weekley at 855-325-4781 for a free consultation statewide. You may also learn more about us by visiting our website at www.workinjuryaz.com.

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