Do you qualify for Social Security disability benefits?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) determines your eligibility for disability benefits. They consider you disabled if:
- You cannot do work that you did before;
- they decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
The SSA is very firm on the definition of disability. Evidence must be presented, forms must be filled out correctly and deadlines need to be closely followed. If you are disabled and seeking benefits, contact us today.
How do I apply for Social Security disability benefits?
To apply for Social Security disability benefits, you will need to complete an application for Social Security Benefits and the Disability Report. Social Security may be able to process your application faster if you help them by getting any other information they need. You can also apply by calling the toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213. Representatives there can make an appointment for your application to be taken over the telephone or at any convenient Social Security office.
Most people are overwhelmed and intimidated by the sheer volume of forms needed to complete a Social Security disability claim. It is probably the most confusing and tedious aspect of winning a Social Security disability claim. It is also crucial.
How do I fill out the application?
A reasonable question we hear over and over is: “Does anyone ever look at these forms?”
The answer is yes and no. Usually your case won’t be approved on what is in a form, but the information provided certainly can be used to deny a claim. The same forms are sent over and over as the claim moves through the application process. Slight inconsistencies can be magnified and used as a way to challenge credibility, and we’ve often seen innocent statements used as a reason to deny a claim.
People often need support completing forms. Few applicants want to be perceived as complainers, and many are in deep denial about the extent of their disability. Doctors and social workers want their patients to improve and they “chart for strength.” While this is good for some purposes, noting improvements but not ongoing problems like fatigue and pain can sabotage a case.
In opening up these disability report forms, we tell clients to ‘be in their worst day’ for 30 minutes, and talk or write about that. Then they can go back to the benefits of positive thinking. Social Security needs to know just why they can’t work, in terms of functional impairment. This is no time for a stiff upper lip.
Our trained staff has years of experience in supporting clients with this paperwork.We’ll make sure the right information is provided – and all the medical records are gathered. In this current climate of delay at Social Security, it is important to get it right the first time so you’re not doing damage control at a hearing. We can help, call our office to make an appointment.
Been denied for Social Security disability benefits?
It is very important to appeal right away if you have been denied on your initial application for Social Security disability benefits. The appeal must be filed promptly after receiving the initial denial decision. If you miss the deadline, you must reapply.
Don’t be discouraged by your denial. For many applicants, you have a better chance at winning your appeal – especially with attorney representation. For claimants with attorney representation, the success rate is up to 80% favorably concluded. In some cases, an experienced attorney can expedite the process of issuing a favorable decision. Contact us if you have been denied. We can help.