Tips for Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits

If you have a serious impairment that is expected to prevent you from working for at least 12 months, you could be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. In addition, you must have worked and paid Social Security taxes long enough to qualify for disability benefits. However, you do not receive benefits automatically. You must go through the process of applying and having your claim evaluated.

Although you may feel you meet all of the criteria for receiving Social Security Disability benefits, there is a good chance that your application will be rejected. About 65 percent of claims are initially denied. So it’s essential to make sure you submit the most complete, detailed application possible to obtain benefits.

File Right Away

When a disabling condition or injury intrudes on your capacity to work and fulfill other functions in your life, it’s natural to feel emotional and not know what to do. But as soon as you discover that you’re unable to work, you should file a Social Security Disability claim.

Not only can disability claims take a long time to process, which could negatively impact your finances, but the law states that applications need to be filed within a certain timeframe. If you file after not working for a year or more, your claim may be seen as weak. So don’t delay.

Ask for Help

Applications can be intimidating. Although you might meet all of the standards for Social Security Disability, you may feel frightened by the application or not fill it out properly. That’s why asking for help could make a difference in how your application is viewed.

Incomplete paperwork or documents that are not filed on time can result in a rejection. So make it a point to get assistance. An attorney who focuses on Social Security Disability could be very helpful in this type of situation.

Be Detailed

To be approved for Social Security Disability, you have to be thorough in your description of your ailment. Don’t be general or overlook what you may think is an unrelated symptom. Include everything that has hampered you from working. Sometimes a combination of disabilities can enable an applicant to receive benefits.

Also, be just as detailed and methodical when it comes to listing your medical sources. You need to include all of the names, addresses and phone numbers of every hospital, clinic, physician and every other medical practitioner who has provided treatments. This detailed information will help your application move as swiftly as possible through the process of approval.

Get Regular Check-Ups

Because approval for Social Security Disability depends so heavily on your medical history, it’s important to have a detailed record of your health care. Regular visits to your doctor will provide comprehensive documentation of your physical condition over the years. Therefore, your medical records are a critical part of your application.

It’s also important to keep in mind that  attaining approval for Social Security Disability can be difficult if you are not evaluated by a medical professional at least once every two months. This means that ongoing visits to your doctor are key.

Hire an Attorney

It’s helpful to have the guidance of an experienced lawyer even at the initial stages of your Social Security Disability application. However, if your claim is denied, the advice of a disability benefits attorney becomes all the more crucial.

While the procedure for receiving these benefits does not require you to be represented by a lawyer, it could make a difference. If your application is denied and you choose to appeal, you will have to attend a hearing and answer the questions of an administrative law judge. Having an attorney at your side could help your chances.

An experienced lawyer can prepare you for the judge’s questions while also helping you gather all of the information you need to submit to the court. Furthermore, although you are free to request pertinent records on your own, an attorney can usually get them faster and can tell which medical documents require updating as well. Your case will be seen as stronger and more complete when a lawyer is guiding you through the process of receiving Social Security Disability benefits.

Sources: