While the requirements necessary to receive Social Security disability benefits are relatively well known, many are unsure about the aspects of their unique case that may negatively impact their Social Security disability claim. Here, the disability advocates at Disability Associates illuminate factors that may limit your access to Social Security disability.
Your Social Media Presence
Officially, what you post on social media cannot be a deciding factor in whether you qualify for Social Security disability. But, legality aside, posts regarding your disability, working status, income and more may color the disability officer’s perception of you.
If your benefits application is accurate, this is unlikely to present an issue, but prevent this from even becoming a possibility by controlling the type of content you post on social media. Making your profiles private can also help prevent any negative consequences of social media use.
Your Drug and Alcohol Use
If you regularly use drugs or alcohol—even medical marijuana—it may have a negative impact on your Social Security disability claim. This will depend largely on whether the SSA can find reasonable evidence to believe that your disability would cease should you stop using drugs or alcohol.
And, although medical marijuana has been legalized in the state of Maryland, it is still illegal at the federal level—and the SSA is at a federal agency. Those concerned about how medical marijuana may impact their Social Security claim should ensure they have received a prescription from a qualified medical professional, and that the same professional is regularly monitoring their dosage and general use.
Your Income is Too High
While it is a misconception that applicants cannot work at all when applying for or receiving disability benefits, there is a threshold income level for those working. In 2017, the threshold for disabled individuals is $1,170 per month, and the threshold for blind individuals is $1,950 per month. Exceeding this amount is likely to negatively impact your chances of receiving disability benefits, as the SSA may believe that you are still able to adequately sustain yourself.
You Have Been Convicted of a Crime, or Violated Probation or Parole
Disabled individuals may not receive disability benefits or back-payments in the months that they are confined for a crime. Furthermore, any disabled individual who violates the terms of their probation or parole will not receive disability benefits for the month in which the violation(s) occurred.
You Haven’t Hired a Disability Attorney
You are not legally required to hire a disability attorney for your Social Security disability case, and are free to apply on your own. However, the unfortunate truth is that many individuals who apply without the assistance of an experienced disability attorney are denied benefits their first time. At Disability Associates, our skilled disability attorneys focus solely on disability benefit law, and have years of knowledge of and experience in the Social Security system. We want to help you earn your benefits as quickly as possible—contact us today for a free consultation!