The Social Security Administration has certain rules and guidelines that you must follow in order to be awarded benefits. You should keep these in mind when you are applying for benefits, because they will show up in your records and not complying with the rules can adversely affect your claim.
Working – This will be a problem because when applying for disability you are asserting that you are willing but unable to work. Therefore to actually be working is a contradiction and a large indicator to the Social Security Administration, that you are not disabled.
Receiving Unemployment – Similar to working, this is an indication that you are not disabled, because you are certifying to the Unemployment Office that you are willing and able to work, but unable to find a job. This, again, is a contradiction to stating that you are unable to work.
Drug and Alcohol Use – Recent drug and alcohol abuse, especially if it causing any of your conditions to worsen, will be a reason for your claim to be denied. It is important to know that past use or even use that has caused the conditions that have made you disabled, is not necessarily going to be a reason to deny. However, you cannot do anything to make your current conditions worse. It is a good idea to seek treatment for abuse or addiction problems, in order to show that it is not a contributing factor to your disabling conditions and that you are doing what you can to get better.
Lack of Treatment or Non-Compliance – It is very important that you have regular and recent medical treatment, in order to support your claim. It is important because Social Security needs medical evidence that supports your allegations. Just saying you have a particular condition is not good enough. You need a doctor who also says so. In addition, it will be an issue if you are going to see a doctor, but are not following his or her instructions as to medications and/or treatment. Again, you cannot do anything to make your conditions worse if you hope to eventually be awarded disability benefits.
Prior Denial – If you have already applied for benefits and been denied, you will not be allowed to re-apply with the same claim (but you can appeal). If you have new or worsening conditions with new supportive medical records, then you may be able to apply again. But if a decision has already been made and you have exhausted the appeals process, you cannot file the exact same application all over again.
An attorney would be in the best position to explain how these issues and others can harm your claim and what can be done to fix them. It is best to consult one if you are concerned that there is an issue that could cause your claim to be denied.