Filing for Social Security disability can be difficult and frustrating. These tips contain the most important information we give our clients about how to be successful.
TIP #1. The Social Security Administration administers two disability benefits programs: disability
Persons who have worked and paid taxes apply for disability insurance benefits. Those who have not worked enough, persons receiving welfare benefits or children under 18 apply for SSI benefits. In order to file, you must have physical and/or mental impairments which prevent you from performing competitive work for at least 12 months. You do not have to wait any length of time to apply, however. Typically, you should file your application for benefits as soon possible because the application and review process can take a long time. Applications are taken at your local Social Security office. The application process can also be started by calling Social Security's toll free telephone number: 800-772-1213.
TIP #2. When you complete your disability application be sure to mention all of your health problems
This is because in evaluating your case Social Security will look at all of your health problems together. Be honest about the severity of your symptoms. Also be sure to include in your application the names, addresses and phone numbers of all of the doctors and hospitals where you have been treated. When asked about your daily activities, be sure to describe them the way you are able to perform them on your "bad" days, not the way you performed them before your medical problems began. The key point is to make your application comprehensive and detailed.
TIP #3. Initial denials are very common early in the application process.
If you receive an initial denial from Social Security, file an appeal as soon as possible. Said appeal must be done within 60 days of the date on the denial letter. You can file an appeal in person at your local Social Security office, by writing a letter to Social Security, by filing online or by telephoning. If your claim is denied at any step of the process, discuss your case with an attorney experienced in Social Security law.
TIP #4. It is important to document your medical conditions.
This means obtaining medical care for your medical problems. Social Security thoroughly reviews your doctors' treatment records. To improve your chances for success you need to see your doctor regularly and report all of your symptoms at each visit. Ask your doctors to record your symptoms in your treatment records on each visit. Treatment by medical specialists will also help your case and you should not hesitate to see a specialist if one is recommended for you. Objective testing, like MRI and EMG test are very important and you should not hesitate to have these tests performed if you condition can be shown by such testing.
TIP #5. Social Security law requires that all of your medical conditions be considered in determinin
Many, if not most people who are out of work and in pain will develop symptoms of depression, anxiety or both. If you have had or develop such symptoms (or other mental health problems) do not hesitate to obtain regular treatment for those symptoms. Treatment for these symptoms can make the difference between winning and losing. It never hurts your case to have treatment for mental health symptoms such as depression or anxiety. Social Security will only consider symptoms of anxiety or depression, however, if you are receiving treatment for them. Ask your doctor for a referral for this type of treatment or contact your local mental health center.
TIP #6. Your doctors play an important role in supporting your application for Social Security or SS
Be sure to tell your doctors that you are applying for disability benefits and ask them to promptly respond to requests for information about your medical condition from Social Security or your attorney. Each time you meet with your doctor be sure to carefully describe all of your symptoms, especially pain, and ask your doctor to carefully record those symptoms in your treatment records.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on
their profile in addition to the information we collect from state
bar associations and other organizations that license legal
professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo
with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do
What determines Avvo Rating?
Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, education
Legal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awards
Legal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagements
This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in .
Disciplinary information may not be comprehensive, or updated. We recommend that you always check a lawyer's disciplinary status with their respective state bar association before hiring them.