Cerebral Palsy News and Discussion Forum
 
           

cerebralpalsy

 

Social Security Disability - 5 Tips to Get Approved


Social Security Disability - 5 Tips to Get Approved By Becca Rode

 

 

No matter where you are in the process of applying for Social Security disability, it can seem very daunting. You must deal with stacks of paperwork, phone calls, medical records, appeals, and often a long wait. Here are some tips that should help you have the best chance of being approved for disability.


 No matter where you are in the process of applying for Social Security disability, it can seem very daunting. You must deal with stacks of paperwork, phone calls, medical records, appeals, and often a long wait. Here are some tips that should help you have the best chance of being approved for disability.

Tip #1: Appeal, appeal, appeal. Those who do not understand the Social Security process become discouraged when their disability claim is denied. If they knew how the system works, it would seem more like a step on the disability ladder than the end of the road. About 70% of initial applications are denied. When the decision is appealed, most are denied at the reconsideration level as well (some states skip this stage). But the next level, the hearing level, has a high chance of success. The difficult part is the wait--from the initial disability application to the hearing date, you may wait for years. Tip number one is to appeal every denial--appeal immediately, and don't be daunted if you are denied even several times. Perseverance really does pay off in the Social Security world.

Tip #2: Pay attention to the details.Some people simply want to get their application in as quickly as possible, and they fail to read the paperwork they are signing. Take the time to understand the paperwork as you sign. Social Security has case workers who are paid to help you understand the process and exactly what will be required of you at each stage in the process. Take advantage of them. Ask questions. If Social Security asks for medical records for a specific doctor, get every single paper that doctor will give you. If Social Security asks for specific work history information, be as specific as you can possibly get--phone numbers, addresses, names, letters, etc. Often these little details can mean the difference and get you approved.

Tip #3: Build your medical evidence.Many applicants don't understand how important medical evidence is in their disability claim. See your doctor(s) as frequently as is reasonably possible. Ask him or her for an opinion on your ability to work, and for details on restrictions. If possible, get a copy of the Functional Capacity form from Social Security and have your doctor complete it for Social Security. If you haven't seen a doctor in awhile, find one that is knowledgable and reputable about your disability. If you cannot afford to see a doctor, do whatever it takes to be seen. Check with your state to see if there are any programs that may help. Ask the County Health Department about the services they offer. Get loans from friends or ask the clinic if they will accept monthly payments. Whatever you do, don't allow your medical evidence to come mainly from Social Security's doctors. Remember that you are building evidence to support your case, so you need to be assertive.

Tip #4: If you must work while you wait, follow Social Security's rules. A common mistake among Social Security Disability, applicants is to work too much while they are waiting for their decision. If you show that you can work a certain amount of hours, or earn a certain amount of money, you will be denied. It doesn't matter if this occurs before you apply, during the application process, or even after you are approved. Social Security watches this very carefully. If you are able to meet and surpass SGA (Substantial Gainful Activity) requirements, it is over. Be very careful not to accept shifts or salaries that will put you over this limit. For 2008, the monthly SGA limit is $940. For more information on SGA, check with Social Security.

Tip #5: Be prepared for your hearing. The hearing level holds the highest chance of success. The wait is long, but the outcome is often a letter of approval for those who are prepared. Be sure to have all medical evidence submitted in plenty of time. Dress comfortably but respectfully, and show what your daily life is like as best you can. Answer questions carefully, as each question by the judge is designed to determine if you can do some type of work. Be honest and straightforward about the specifics of your disability. If you want the highest chance of success possible, look into hiring a disability attorney. They work with Social Security, gather evidence, and present your case for you, so that the chances of being approved can be as high as 90%. Some will even complete the disability application for you. However, if you decide to go unrepresented, it is possible to win if you are prepared.

Whether you are in the middle of the Social Security process or just beginning, best of luck.

Becca has been involved in the Social Security world since 1995 and enjoys watching the program change peoples' lives.

 

Article Provided by Myler Disability

 

 RELATED NEWS

Quantcast