Quick Basic Guide to Increase Your Chances of Receivng Social Security Disability Benefits
You're disabled, can't work, need money to get by, and the government isn't making it easier to receive SSD Benefits. What do you do in the initial stage? What do you need from you doctor? I've been denied, can I appeal? This guide should give a basic insight on how to increase your chances.
Step 1: Figure out if your condition is qualified under SSAFirst, to be disabled you must not be able to have substantial gainful employment for 1 year or the condition is a permanent disablement. If not, unfortunately you will not be considered disabled. Many applicants might believe they're disabled but will not know if their condition is qualified under SSA. To find out if your condition is qualified, go to https://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/listing-impairments.htm.
If your condition is on the list then it can be severe. If your condition's severity does not affect your previous work, then SSA will find you not disabled. However, If your condition creates a substantial diminishing affect on your basic work-related activities then you might be considered disabled. Unless you have a special exception disablement such as blindness or you're a wounded veteran, nothing is guaranteed with SSA. Therefore, establish the severity of your condition before you apply.
Step 2: Am I making enough money to be qualified as disabled?Under SSA law, if you are working in 2017 and your earnings average more than $1,170 a month, you generally cannot be considered disabled. Also, you must have worked long enough to be able to receive SSD benefits. SSD credits are based on how many years you have worked. SSA states that you can earn 4 credits per year. Your age and your time of disablement also plays a factor in determining the number of credits and whether you will be qualified as disabled. See https://www.ssa.gov/planners/disability/dqualify2.html for more information.
Step 3: Do I need help with filing my application?Under SSA law, you do not need an attorney or a representative to file your application. However, it would be wise to have a lawyer file your application. According to SSA law, a lawyer cannot receive any compensation until you win your case. An applicant is only responsible for reimbursing an attorney for legal expenses such as medical records. If you win your case, SSA will pay your attorney $6,000 or 25% whichever is a lower amount of your past due benefits. If you lose, you pay nothing. Sounds like a win-win for the applicant.
Organization and knowing how to answer SSA questions with specificity is imperative. Only a lawyer can assist you in filing your application and document the facts appropriately to determine if you're disabled under SSA law. Also, a lawyer can prevent clerical errors and ensure there are no omissions from the record. Nothing is certain but a proper initial claim increases your chance of being approved. Possibly, it can also speed up the tedious process.
Step 4: How can my medical records help me?The weight of medical evidence is substantial and essential in determining your case. Your medical records will be your advocate throughout the entire process. You might have legitimate pain which has caused you not to work for years, however, if your records can't add the medical credibility needed to qualify you as disabled, a judge won't care if you're in pain.
It's imperative that your doctor has experience with writing medical reports that will accurately describe your condition and how you have been affected. In addition, make sure you can get all your medical records updated, on-time, and in order. It will help your attorney put all the evidence together and speed up the process as SSA is notoriously known for being slow. Therefore, get all your medical records even before filing your application if possible. It will do you wonders!
Step 5: When can I appeal?Harsh truth is many applicants get denied. The federal government is not trying to give out any SSD benefits which is why hiring a lawyer is a logical decision. If you're awarded benefits, SSA will have periodical reviews to ensure if you're disabled. SSA will continually try to find out if you're able to work because again the federal government does not want to pay out benefits. Therefore, you must continually update SSA with your doctor visitations, examinations, treatments, and prescribe medications.
If your claim gets denied you will have 60 days to appeal. Why is it important to appeal rather than file a new application? A judge will look at an appeal with a little more leniency than if you file a brand new application. A brand new application might get rejected just like the prior application for the same reasons. When you appeal, your attorney will have the chance to gather new evidence and address why the denial was unjustified. Plus, an appeal doesn't stall the already long process.