By Allen Brown
Millions of disability applications are filed each year, but only a fraction of them are approved. In 2017, more than 2.1 million applications were filed with the Social Security Administration, but only around 35% of them were approved. Therefore, the probability of failure is worryingly high.
With that said, several tips can increase your likelihood of getting approved. These are measures that have been used countless times and almost always produce the desired outcome. The measures include:
1. Making a Comprehensive Application
Ensuring your application is complete speeds up the processes, reduces unnecessary hiccups during the claim, and increases the possibility of getting approved.
There are many documents that you will need to collect and include in your applications. Fortunately, the social security administration SSA has a downloadable PDF checklist on their website that you can use as a guide when filing your application.
Prepare personal information like your date of birth, citizenship, marital status, divorce history, and details of your children. You’ll also be required to provide details on your health, medical conditions, as well as the physicians and clinics that you have visited.
Your employment history is also necessary. Check out the SSA website to see the questions you need to prepare yourself for. Make sure you have all this information accurately recorded in your application. You can make the application online or by calling the national toll-free service line.
It’s advisable to make your application as soon as possible. These claims take time so starting early gives you the much-needed upper hand.
2. Maintaining All the Medical Records
Medical records are probably the most crucial part of a social security disability claim. Stay on top of all document gathering. The SSA usually requests these documents from healthcare facilities, but you should also have your own documentation to ensure nothing is left out.
Most disability issues require continuous medical monitoring. This means most people will still be seeking medical help even after making their applications. You must collect this new evidence as well. Whether it is treatment, surgical procedures, or lab works, collect all the evidence.
And by all, we mean all! Don’t assume that your psych documents are unnecessary since you are making a claim for cardiovascular disease, just maintain the records of all these conditions plus the medical practitioners you interact with. You should also have a journal noting whether certain treatments are successful or not.
3. Hiring an Experienced Social Security Disability Lawyer
Social security disability attorneys are not necessary for all claims. However, in certain situations, advocates come in very handy. Besides helping you prepare for the hearing or making appeals, they can do the heavy lifting during the application process making sure everything is in order while you focus on your recovery.
But don’t just hire any advocate. Get an experienced lawyer who knows the ins and outs of SSDI. As the LaPorte Law Firm points out, having a trusted and compassionate advocate nearly triples your chances of success. This is exactly what you want.
4. Monitoring the Progress of Your Claim
Millions of applications are made every year. This obviously overwhelms the limited SSA staff, so it’s very easy for important details regarding your claim to go unnoticed. How do you deal with this? You monitor the progress of your claim at all times. This helps you stay on top of any additional information and deadlines that affect your application.
In your journal, note down all the communications between you and the claims representatives.
5. Following Up on the Necessary Treatments
Do not ignore your wellness after filing your claim. Continue to follow all the doctor’s recommendations on lifestyle changes, drug prescriptions, and follow-up appointments. Not only does this increase your evidence, but it also shows the SSA that you are committed to getting better. Needless to say that it also improves your recovery.
You should know that SSDI denial can actually happen if you don’t follow the physician’s recommendations.
6. Preparing Your Witnesses
Witnesses can strengthen your case significantly. A spouse, roommate, and even adult children can attest to the impact that your condition has had on your ability to work and live an independent life. Have these witnesses ready for the hearing just in case they are needed.
Your lawyer can do an even better job in preparing the witnesses. They will also assist with the cross-examination of vocational experts who may be called during your hearing.
With the denial rate standing at 67%, it’s critical to do everything possible to increase the likelihood of success. Experts from across the country have found the above tips to be very effective.