Most people who file for disability benefits are truly in need of help, and honest. But some people are less than completely honest. Some people exaggerate their medical problems. And some people even make stuff up. Exaggerations and false statements cause a couple of problems, the biggest is, YOU LOSE CREDIBILITY.

Your credibility is a significant factor in evaluating your claim for benefits.

Social Security is required to take into account your statements on the symptoms you have, and side effects of your medications. If you say or do things to cause Social Security to doubt what you say, then everything you say in defense of your claim will be doubted.

You might be thinking that this is obvious. But you would be surprised at some of the things people say in their interviews. Here’s some real life examples;

  • A man stated that he couldn’t walk anymore, but he walked a couple of miles to the office to file. When questioned about this, he said, “Well I can’t walk like I used to.” This is exaggeration.
  • A woman said she can’t do anything anymore, yet she babysits for a three year old grandchild. She is exaggerating her limitations.
  • A man said he has AIDS. Later on, a friend who was helping him with his claim said he is schizophrenic. Then in another conversation with another worker, the same friend said he has terminal cancer. The medical records show no evidence of AIDS, or cancer, he did have mental health issues. False statements were made.

Once someone at Social Security discovers exaggerations and or false statements, EVERYTHING about the claim is looked at with skepticism. You greatly reduce your chances of getting approved for benefits when everyone working on your claim doubts what you say.

Administrative law judges are very good at picking up on discrepancies in your allegations, and something you say this month could come back at you later on.

Tell Social Security about your medical problems and how they affect your ability to do things in detail. Don’t exaggerate or make things up, most likely, that would just cause you more problems.