10 Big Life Regrets (Before Applying For Disability

46644844_1940195219349039_3477403353330221056_n
Art: Robin Mead

Sadly, we have heard from many people who have regrets about the choices they made before applying for disability. Happily, you’re here reading this page, so this won’t happen to you. These are the most common regrets we here:

Believing People Who Say You Can’t Apply or Can’t Get Approved

You may be told this by a friend, a family member, a disability lawyer or a Social Security employee. No matter who said it, don’t believe it until you have explored all the options yourself. How to Apply for Disability When You are Told You Can’t

Waiting Until You Are Desperate

Some people wait until they have literally no choice before applying for disability. If you wait until you have lost your housing, transportation, health care, or support system, you may find that it is much, much harder to get approved and takes much, much longer to get approved.

Not Reading Your COMPLETE Records

If you’ve been looking at online patient portals, or visit summaries you are handed at the front desk, you have not been seeing your full medical records. You want to request and collect your complete records, and know what is in there, so you can make good decisions for yourself and not have any unhappy surprises later.

Pushing Too Hard

Please take good care of yourself. Some of our readers report that they used disability accommodations to prolong the inevitable: They made themselves sicker by pushing to keep working, causing ongoing damage to their body and health, and wound up applying for disability in the end anyway. Special note for people with ME or CFS: Please learn more about the symptom of Post Exertional Malaise and please take the time to talk to other patients who continued to push themselves when ill.

Not Following Treatment

If you stop taking medications, stop seeing your doctor, or don’t follow your doctor’s recommendations, this may cause problems for you down the road. If you feel your doctor is not helping you, instead of stopping treatment, you might consider finding a new doctor, or working with your existing doctor to change your treatment.

Only Applying For Temporary Disability

If you are working now, your employer may offer a short term disability policy. You might also be eligible for temporary disability in California, New Jersey, Hawaii, Rhode Island or New York. These programs can be great, but some people make the (disastrous) mistake of only applying for short term benefits. It is very very very important that you submit your Social Security application at the same time. Do not wait.

Letting Your Work Credits Expire

Some forms of Social Security are based on work credits, and these credits do expire. If you stop working, after a certain number of years, you may only be able to apply for a form of disability that is less income and more restrictive, or you may lose your ability to apply completely. This most commonly happens to stay at home parents, and people married to people who work.

Making Bad Decisions at Work

If you’re employer offers disability insurance, please take a look at: How to Avoid Getting Screwed Over by Disability Insurance

Making Bad Decisions at The Doctor’s Office

The decisions you make, and the things you say, and the things you do right now may turn out to have a big impact on you later. How to Go to the Doctor Without Regret

Applying for Disability Too Soon

Just kidding. No one actually has this regret. If you recover and you are able to start working again, you can withdraw your disability application at any time.


Thanks for Reading

🌸 This page is part of the free online guide: The Sleepy Girl Guide to Social Security Disability 

🌸 If there is any chance you will ever apply for disability, please read: If There is Any Chance You Will Ever Apply for Disability…

🌸 Art on this page by Robin Mead and Elizabeth D’Angelo.

🌸 Page Updated: 9/1/19

What Do You Think?

🌸 Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions.

🌸 Please let us know if any links on this page stop working.

🌸 If you found this page helpful, please share it with others by pressing one of these magic little buttons: 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s