When I was first fighting my case, I went in to the local Social Security office to speak to someone. If I had listened to their “expert” info, I would have given up. Even at that point, I knew what she was telling me was incorrect.
The caseworker told me I couldn’t collect Veterans benefits and Social Security Disability. Wrong.
She told me I couldn’t get the missing work credits until I filed taxes for those years. Incorrect.
She told me there was no way to change my onset date. Wrong yet again.
I shudder to think how many people are given that kind of advice and simply walk out, believing they are owed nothing. I had researched extensively beforehand and I was stunned at how little that caseworker knew.
This happened at my local office. The people I met there were basically laymen who knew less than a person could learn online in a day. It is scary to think how many people have walked out believing they were ineligible based on bad information.
I had no lawyer. No lawyer wanted to take my case. I did all my research online, most of it from the SSA site, ironically. I’m not a genius by any stretch, but I know how to interpret information and how to find what I’m looking for. I learned about the ten-year look-back period and that it could get me around the two missing years, if I could move back the onset date two years. I got my filing reopened and used the onset date from that application.
If you run into a problem with Social Security, the best advice I can give is to get a good lawyer. But if you can’t get a lawyer, research, research, research and if you believe your claim is valid, fight it yourself.
I got over seven years of backpay. I received $151,000 in backpay for myself plus $67,000 in backpay dependent benefits. Over 200 grand that I almost walked away from.