If you’re injured and can’t go back to work, there’s a glimmer of hope with social security disability benefits. Unfortunately, most people get denied the first time they apply. It happens to roughly 65% of all initial disability claims. Fortunately, there are ways you can improve your odds of getting accepted, even if it’s your second or third time applying.
Obtain a Written Statement from Doctors
A lot of SSDI cases get denied simply because there wasn’t enough evidence supporting the severity of injury or medical condition. You can obtain this evidence by getting a written statement from your doctor that describes your condition in great detail. In this report, symptoms you suffer daily are identified and information about how the condition limits your abilities is also provided.
To avoid confusion, see if your doctor is willing to provide this statement the first time you’re treated. They may consent or refuse, depending on how busy their schedules are. You can always see another doctor if the first one declines. You could even get multiple written statements from different doctors, showing without a doubt you’re disabled and can’t continue working.
It’s also important to note that some doctors drag their feet when submitting a written statement. Avoid this all together by picking up the documents from their office yourself.
Maintain Communications with SSA
It’s important to maintain communications with SSA throughout the application process. They may require you to come in and get examined by one of their doctors, or may need additional information about your case. Provide them with a current address and a working phone number to avoid missing out on important details that could affect the acceptance or denial of your case.
If the process seems to be taking a long time, don’t hesitate to reach out to the SSA on your own accord. They’re obligated to fill you in on important details like what stage your application is at or information that might be missing.
Submit an Appeal
If for any reason your case is denied the first time, you should immediately submit an appeal. Your chances of winning this appeal go up if you submit within 60 days. You’ll also want to write an appeals letter, since the appeals form only gives you several lines to explain why you feel the decision was wrong.
This letter gives you the chance to explain your unique personal and medical situation in great detail. In this letter, you need to provide a description of your medical condition, which impairments the SSA evaluated, sources that were used to evaluate your claim, and why the SSA came to their decision.
You’ll want to point out any missing information that might strengthen your case, along with mistakes that may have led to SSA’s wrongful dismissal. For example, there may be new tests and procedures that can better prove the severity of your condition.
Request a Disability Hearing
Sometimes, cases are denied more than once after the appeal. If this keeps happening to you, it may be time to request a disability hearing. You’ll want to have a social security disability attorney with you, as they can organize medical records and obtain more information that the SSA may have overlooked. It’s important to choose an attorney that specializes in SSDI because they’ll have extensive knowledge of Social Security regulations and previous rulings that might help with your situation.
The road to gaining social security disability benefits is long and filled with obstacles. However, if you continue to press forward and avail of legal assistance, you can obtain compensation and get back to the normal life you and your family deserve.
What Percentage Of Social Security Disability or SSI Cases Does A Judge Deny?, ssdrc.com
The Appeals Process, ssa.gov