If you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (“SSDI” or “disability benefits”) you may in fact be disabled but unless the evidence in the Social Security Administration’s hands (“SSA”) supports permanent disability, you will not be awarded disability benefits.
Before you ever apply for disability benefits, here are a few things you can do to improve your chances of getting a favorable decision.
Get Organized Before You Apply.
Before you approach the SSDI application, gather up all the documents you will need to fill it out.
Despite the dismal statistics that would make one think that the SSA simply denies all first-time applications (not true), your application is critical to increasing your chances of being awarded benefits. The application does require a lot of detail not only about your medical condition(s), doctors and treatments, but about your work history and personal life as well. So prepare before you attempt to fill out the SSDI application form by gathering all the documents you will need to provide the information required. If you need or want help, contact us.
Get Your Medical Records Yourself.
One of the main reasons why SSDI claims are denied is because the SSA does not receive the claimant’s medical records. When you fill out the application, you will provide complete information along with dates of treatment for all of your medical providers. The SSA will then use this information to obtain your medical records.
While this can be convenient for you, if your medical providers do not respond to the SSA’s request for records, your claim will be denied. The SSA simply has not got the time or man-power to spend chasing doctors or hospitals around to get the information they need for your claim.
To improve your chances of having your claim approved, you can/should obtain your medical records yourself and submit them with your application. Again, if you need or want help with this, a disability attorney can do this for you.
Get Your Doctor to Provide Written Information on How Your Disability Interferes With Your Ability to Work.
Another reason why claims are denied right out of the box is because the medical information provided does not tell the SSA what it needs to know about a person’s disability. The SSA does not focus on your diagnosis. Whether you have cancer, anxiety, degenerative disc disease or a heart condition does not matter so much to the SSA. What they are concerned with is whether your condition(s) keeps you from engaging in “substantial gainful employment” (i.e., making a living).
One of the biggest problems claimants face when applying for SSDI is that their medical records do not discuss how their condition(s) prevent them from working full-time or enough to engage in substantial gainful employment.
That is because standard medical records don’t have a section for the doctor to provide information regarding your ability to work. Whether you can work or not is necessary for the doctor to diagnose and treat your condition. That means that what you need to do is to try to get your treating physician to indicate in writing what your physical and mental restrictions are as a result of your medical condition(s) and how they relate to the tasks you must do at your job. So, for example, you will want your doctor to indicate how long you can sit, stand, walk, twist, use your fingers, etc., so that the medical records provide the SSA with the information it is looking for. Disability attorneys know how to obtain this information for you.
Your disability application is a critical part of the disability benefits process. To give yourself the best possible chance of being awarded benefits, follow our suggestions above or contact social security disability counsel for assistance.
We Help People Get The Benefits They Deserve.
We are Social Security attorneys with offices in Poplar Bluff, Rolla, St. Louis, St. Joseph, West Plains and other cities in Missouri, and in Overland Park, Salina, Topeka, and Wichita Kansas, and in Illinois, and Oklahoma. All we do is Social Security disability cases. We FIGHT for our clients and we offer free consultations. We are committed to getting our clients the benefits they deserve and we do not get paid unless you win your case. Contact us today to set up your free appointment.