Contrary to what you may have heard, obtaining disability benefits is not an easy thing. When you apply for the program Social Security will consider whether your medical conditions impair your ability to not only perform the work you have done in the past but also any other work available in the national economy. There are three things that you can do to help ensure a favorable outcome from SSA. First, you need to document your limitations. Second, follow your treating provider’s recommended treatment plan. Lastly, get someone experienced to help you with your claim.
1. Document your limitations:
The Social Security disability (SSD) program requires medical proof that you suffer a severe condition that affects your ability to work. If you have not sought treatment from a doctor for your conditions there is no evidence that you really suffer from this condition, other than your word. And frankly, Social Security will not rely on your word when determining eligibility. If you want to win your disability claim, you need to seek medical treatment so as to document your limitations. It is not enough to simply be diagnosed with a condition. There needs to be medical evidence supporting how your diagnosis affects your ability to work.
For example, a diagnosis of arthritis in your spine would typically include documentation regarding your pain level, range of motion testing, any exertional limitations including your ability to sit, stand, walk or lift, and most importantly there should be x-rays or MRI’s performed documenting the condition. This is the type of documentation that should be included in your medical evidence which will prove your disability.
Documenting your limitations should be the easiest thing you do to win your case. As long as you are treating by a medical doctor for your condition, you will be well on your way to winning your disability claim. Assuming your limitations are severe enough to keep you from working.
2. Follow your doctor’s recommended treatment plan:
This is simple. Go to the doctor. Tell your doctor about your conditions. And then follow the instructions your doctor gives you about how to get better. Following your doctor’s recommended treatment plan is an important way to support your credibility in the eyes of Social Security. By credibility, I am talking about your claims regarding your symptoms and limitations as to why you cannot work. A large part of your disability claim relies upon your explanation of how your condition affects you personally. If you are making efforts to follow the recommended treatment, you are showing Social Security that you not only are suffering but that you are also making every effort to get better. That in and of itself goes a long way to support your allegations of limitations.
3. Hire an attorney to represent you:
The final thing you can do to help win your disability claim is to seek help from someone who knows the Social Security program. Hire a social security disability attorney. Social Security recognizes the need for individuals to have representation. In fact, they encourage you to seek counsel. Navigating the process and regulations of Social Security can be confusing. Add to the confusion the facts that you are struggling with your conditions and you are in a difficult financial situation since you are not working. Hiring an attorney will not only relieve a significant amount of stress from your plate but will also put you one step ahead of the disability process.
Hiring an attorney doesn’t cost you anything out of pocket. The Social Security Administration regulates all fees an attorney is allowed to collect for disability claims. These fees are contingency-based, meaning your attorney will only get paid if they can secure your disability benefits. Talk to an attorney about your disability claim. You have nothing to lose but everything to gain. Call me at (561) 623-3681 for a free case evaluation.
When applying for disability the worst thing you can do is assume that because you are not working that you will be approved. Do not take an entitlement attitude towards the program. It will not help you obtain benefits. What will help you is by following the three things mentioned above. Document your limitations, follow your doctor’s prescribed treatment, and hire an experienced disability attorney to process your claim. Good luck!