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Social Security Disability: A Comprehensive Guide to Maximizing Your Benefits
In the United States, 8.5 million people receive Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Disability Insurance program, or SSDI, was initially created to offer assistance to workers who become permanently disabled.
If you’ve found yourself injured or suffering from an illness, Social Security Disability payments can offer much-needed help. However, many deserving applicants are not approved to receive benefits because their applications are lacking.
Don’t let this happen to you. Read our informative 6 step guide to learn how to maximize your Social Security Disability benefits and increase your odds of approval. Not sure you have a claim? Determine your eligibility now.
Take Accurate Notes
When filing for Social Security Disability benefits, it is helpful to have accurate notes to reflect on. Most disability cases are lost because of insufficient medical evidence or documentation. Before you begin filling out the application, gather all of your notes and doctor’s records in one place.
The Social Security office will request your medical records directly from your doctor’s office, but often doctors can be very busy treating patients and not have the time to send over paperwork. By gathering it all up you can make sure the Social Security office receives everything they need for your claim.
Keep a copy of any important test results, x-rays, or records of treatment. Start a journal that records the dates of your interactions with healthcare providers, and jot down what they told you. Write something down even if it doesn’t seem important at the time. It never hurts to have too much information.
For example, if you are seeing a psychiatrist for anxiety, it could be a hidden disability that was not seen as being related to your injury until later. Keeping notes of all health-related issues is important to help you maximize your benefits.
Keeping these records could also help speed up the process, as you’ll have it all on-hand.
Complete the Application
When you have gathered up all your documentation and notes, then you are ready to file a claim. The Social Security Administration has a helpful checklist that you can print out to make sure you send in everything they will need. There will be a lot of paperwork, so it is best to devise an organizational system to keep everything in order.
You must provide information on your citizenship, family history, marriage, and questions related to your health and injury. Be prepared to answer lots of questions about your injury or condition and what treatments you have received.
Finally, you will be asked for information about your work history for the past fifteen years. There will also be questions regarding your educational background and about any job training that you have received.
It is important to fill out the application completely. We have seen many applicants rejected simply because they didn’t fill out the application fully or correctly. Avoid this common mistake and take your time to give them the full picture.
Talk to Your Doctors
The Social Security Administration will use your doctor’s records to decide on your application. They will look at your doctor’s opinion of your disability and then see if it matches up with the evidence. It is important that you must maintain an open relationship with your doctor. Let him or her know you are filing for Social Security Disability benefits and enlist their help to write a statement about your condition.
Be sure to have him or her include any limits that will be placed on your work. Your doctor can also complete a Residual Functional Capacity evaluation. If your case goes to a hearing, this document will further enhance your claim.
It is also a great idea to have your doctor as an expert witness to testify at your hearing. So be friendly with your doctor and keep them updated from time to time on your disability claim.
Follow the Recommended Treatment Plan
Even if it seems as if your injury isn’t going to be any better with treatment, you must follow through with all recommended treatments. This includes going to physical therapy, taking medications as prescribed, or resting and relaxing.
It’s important to attend all of your appointments. Regular visits will strengthen the validity of your claim and provide more evidence. The Social Security Office wants to see that you are doing everything in your power to heal and recover. If it appears that you are not following the doctor’s orders precisely, your benefits claim could be denied.
Follow up on Your Claim
Millions of people file for Social Security Disability a year, so it can be easy to get lost in the sea of paperwork. While you are certainly ill or injured and deserving of benefits, unfortunately many thousands of other people are also in your shoes.
Stay in close contact with your paralegal and attorney at the LaBovick Law Group and keep tabs on what stage your claim is in. That way you can quickly help provide any additional paperwork that may be needed or documentation that you forgot to include.
If you have any questions regarding your claim, contact your paralegal. If at any point you speak to anyone at the Social Security Administration office make sure you keep a journal of your interactions and share it with your paralegal. Include the date, their name, and phone number, so that you can remember who you spoke to and what you were told.
This will ensure you do not miss any important deadlines and keep your claim moving forward at a steady pace.
Contact a Social Security Disability Attorney
If you have completed all of these steps but are still getting the runaround perhaps you should consider hiring a Social Security Disability attorney to help you with the process. The LaBovick Law Group has helped thousands of people get the benefits they need.
Filing a claim for Social Security Disability benefits can be tedious, and a good lawyer knows common disabilities for SSD benefits and how to navigate the system. If you have been denied Social Security Disability benefits and you are disabled, don’t lose hope. At LaBovick Law Group, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. We understand that being denied the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits that you desperately need can be frustrating.
Increase your chances of having your claim approved and getting the maximum benefits that you deserve with a Social Security Disability attorney. Our mission is to fight for you. Here are 4 ways we can help you today!
Contact LaBovick Law Group and speak to an expert to get started on your case today
Take a minute to fill out the Evaluation Form
Watch the video of our lead SSD attorney, Elizabeth Seeman discuss SSD
*There’s no charge for the consultation or evaluation. You only pay if you win!