Winning Social Security Disability
Winning Social Security Disability requires careful attention to every detail of your claim. The information below will help you win your Social Security Disability benefits.
- Don’t be discouraged by denials, keep appealing.
- Ensure that medical reporting and functional capacity statements address the issues important to SSA’s disability rules.
- Review your SSA file to ensure that all relevant medical records and information have been obtained.
- Be sure to describe your limitations in detail to your doctors
- File appeals timely
- Have an experienced professional on your team
- Make notes about your symptoms (pain, seizures, etc.) and the side effects of medications
- If you need to rest during the day keep a record as to how long and how often
- Record dates of onset for your various problems
- Work with your professional representative to complete the Disability Report, Daily Activity Questionnaires and Work History Report.
- Maintain an accurate list of past and present medications
- Obtain disability and function statements from friends, family, clergy etc.
- Provide photographs of serious visible problems
- Record names and dates for key contacts
- If you must deal with SSA, use the local SSA office not the 800 number
- Ask for a report of contact to confirm answers provided by SSA
- Keep your attorney or representative fully informed
- Keep seeing your doctor and taking all prescribed medications
- If SSA calls, defer to you professional representative
- Keep records of your doctor visits. Before you go to the doctor, prepare notes on what you are going to talk about. Take your notes with you. Never rely on your memory during the visit.
- Remember, when you go to the doctor, things you say will end up in the notes. Use that to your advantage by explaining at each visit, how much you lie down, how often you have to elevate your legs, your level of pain, how often you have chest pain, how often you have swelling, side effects of medications including drowsiness and fatigue, how frequently you have had seizures since the last visit.etc.
- If you have serious symptoms associated with your condition ie.(seizures, pain, memory loss etc.) ask friends and family who have witnessed this to write down what they observed. Review this with your professional representative and then give it to your doctor. This should be in the doctor’s records.
- Periodically ask your doctor for copies of his/her notes. When their notes reflect something different than what you said, clarify this during your next visit. Physicians are more likely to make sure their notes are accurate if they know you are going to read them.
- Never submit your resume to Social Security. This is not an application for a job.
Each level of the application and appeal process has different rules.Consulting with an experienced professional is an important step to winning Social Security Disability.