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Mistakes are likely when dealing with Social Security benefits

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One form of benefit that many people turn to if they become disabled long-term or permanently comes from Social Security disability insurance. While most experts do advise that you have some other disability insurance policy, especially if you work in a career where safety risks are higher than others, Social Security is actually a form of disability insurance. Most employees pay into Social Security and they have a right to draw from this benefit once they are retired or if they are disabled.

Dealing with the Social Security Administration can be extremely tedious, though, because of the extreme number of rules and the convoluted way this benefit works. It's not always the fault of SSA employees that mistakes are made, because they are often given the wrong information by chains of command. Sometimes, the answers are so complex, even the people administering your benefits don't understand exactly how to provide accurate service.

These issues can cause numerous problems for those receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. You also have to report any incomes to the SSA so it can determine if you are still eligible for benefits. A mistake in this process could leave you without benefits or having to pay thousands in benefits back in the future. One author alleges that she was forced to pay back over $300,000 in benefits because of a mistake made by SSA a decade before.

One expert recommends that you record phone calls with the SSA so you have proof of what representatives tell you about your benefits. In California, however, that requires the consent of both parties, and it's not likely an SSA rep will consent to your recording a phone call. Instead, consider working with a disability attorney who can help you manage all of your claims.

Source: Forbes, "Why You Should Tape Conversations With Social Security," Laurence J. Kotlikoff, July 17, 2016

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