What Should You Not Say In A Disability Interview

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What Should You Not Say In A Disability Interview

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When you’re gearing up for a disability interview, it’s crucial to be mindful of what you say. This interview is a key step in your journey to secure disability benefits, and your words can significantly influence the outcome. In this guide, we’ll delve into what topics and details you should avoid discussing during your interview.

Work Information to Avoid Discussing

Discussing your work history requires a delicate balance. It’s essential to remember that your ability to perform in the past may not reflect your current capabilities, especially if your medical condition has evolved.

  • Previous Job Responsibilities: Detailing tasks that you previously managed with ease could give the wrong impression about your current abilities. It’s best to stick to the facts and focus on how your condition has changed your work capacity.
  • Part-Time Work or Hobbies: Any mention of recent work or active hobbies could inadvertently suggest you’re more capable than you are, undermining your claim that you are unable to work.
  • Aspiration to Work: It’s natural to wish to return to work, but expressing this desire in the interview could be misconstrued as current capability.

    A caucasian man holds his index finger to his lips to nonverbally communicate that silence is needed.

Medical Information: Tread Carefully

Your medical history and records are the foundation of your disability claim. How you discuss your health condition is critically important.

  • Incomplete or Exaggerated Symptoms: It’s vital to accurately represent your symptoms. Exaggerating your symptoms or omitting key medical information can damage your credibility.
  • Unofficial Medical Opinions: Stick to diagnoses and treatments documented by medical professionals. Relaying unverified medical opinions can weaken your case.
  • Consistency with Medical Records: Ensure that your account aligns with your medical records. Inconsistencies can lead to doubts about your condition’s severity.

Finances and Personal Life

  • Financial Status: When discussing your financial situation, such as assets or other income sources, it’s crucial to pay close attention to how this information could affect perceptions of your need for disability benefits.
  • Personal Life: Sharing too much about your daily life, especially activities that suggest a higher level of physical or mental capability than claimed, could be counterproductive.

Navigating Social Media and Online Forums During Disability Claims

In today’s digital age, what you post online, even in seemingly private or anonymous settings, can significantly impact your disability claim. Here’s a closer look at how different platforms can affect your case and why it’s essential to tread carefully.

  • Facebook: Let’s say you’ve shared photos or posts on Facebook that show you engaging in physical activities or enjoying a night out. These posts, even if they are rare good days amidst your condition, can be misinterpreted as evidence of your ability to engage in work or daily activities without limitation.
  • Reddit and Anonymous Forums: You might feel safer sharing details about your daily life or discussing your condition on anonymous platforms like Reddit. However, these posts can still be traced back to you. For example, if you share a detailed experience about hiking or attending a fitness class, it could be used to question the severity of your condition, even if these activities were one-off events or occurred before your disability worsened.
  • TikTok and Social Media Influencing: Platforms like TikTok can be particularly tricky. Say you create content that doesn’t appear to be physically demanding, but it gains traction and starts generating income. This success can lead to questions about your ability to work, even in a different capacity from your previous employment. It’s essential to remember that any form of income generation, even from seemingly simple activities, can be perceived as an ability to engage in substantial gainful activity.
  • Etsy and Online Marketing: If you have an online store on platforms like Etsy, where you sell handmade goods, it can signal that you’re capable of managing a business. Even if you started this as a hobby or the work is sporadic, the ability to create, market, and sell products can be misconstrued as evidence that you’re capable of working.
  • Other Online Activities: Participation in online forums, gaming, or even commenting on news articles can also be problematic if the content suggests a level of cognitive or physical ability that contradicts your disability claims. For instance, if you’re involved in online gaming communities and discuss playing games for extended periods, it could be interpreted as having the ability to concentrate and engage in an activity for a standard work duration.

While these online platforms offer a space for expression and connection, they can also inadvertently paint a picture of your abilities that conflicts with your disability claim. The evidence that can be gathered from these platforms of your disability status can be just as harmful as what you tell a disability doctor or during an administrative hearing.

Anything that suggests you’re able to work in some capacity – be it through physical activities, cognitive engagement, or income generation – can be used to challenge your claim. Therefore, it’s crucial to be mindful of your online presence and the message it may convey about your condition. Remember, consistency between your real-life abilities and online persona is key to maintaining the integrity of your disability claim.

Talking About Finances in Your Disability Benefits Application

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI): When you apply for Social Security Disability Benefits through SSI, your financial status is a significant factor. SSI is need-based, so your assets and income are closely examined. Discussing your financial situation during the interview should align with the details you’ve provided in your application. Avoid contradicting or leaving out key financial information.
  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): SSDI is based on your work history and earnings. In this case, your discussion should focus more on how your disability has impacted your ability to work and less on your current financial situation.

Schedule Your Case Consultation With Grundy Disability Group

Understanding what not to say when applying for disability can be overwhelming. This is where professional guidance becomes invaluable. Grundy Disability Group offers comprehensive support in preparing for your disability interview. With a focus on respectful and thorough representation, our attorneys can assist in articulating your situation effectively, ensuring that your rights are upheld and your needs are communicated.

Scheduling a consultation with our law firm can provide you with the necessary insights and strategies for your disability application. Call us now.

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