Jackson Law Firm: Application Tips from Our Social Security Lawyer
Forrest Jackson, Disability Benefits Attorney
Social Security Disability
Do You Meet SSDI Criteria?
How to Apply for SSDI
Appealing Denied Benefits
Supplemental Security Income
It's no secret that the Social Security system is overwhelmed, particularly in the departments that evaluate Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims. Over 2.5 million applications are processed on a yearly basis by the Social Security Administration (SSA). They simply do not have time to review disability applications that are poorly or incorrectly prepared. This is where the legal assistance of an attorney experienced with social security disability claimscan really help.
At Jackson Law Firm, PLLC, our disability lawyer is exclusively focused on helping individuals garner their deserved Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Our experienced Chattanooga disability attorney has personally handled thousands of Social Security benefits cases and knows how to navigate the SSA disablilty benefits maze.
While no attorney can make a guarantee when it comes to Social Security Disability claims, or any government decision, the following are some helpful tips our lawyer has found to be valuable for disability benefits clients. If you have more questions about the specifics of your case, contact us for a free case review.
Make sure your case fits the basic social security requirements. In order to be granted benefits, you must meet the following prerequisites:
You have a severe physical or mental disability
Your impairment has lasted for longer than 12 months and is expected to continue or result in death
Your condition limits your daily activities, including preventing you from working
You can prove your condition with medical documentation and a doctor's assessment
Your claim is also based on your work experience. If you do not have the work experience to qualify for SSDI you may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you are not certain whether you qualify for SSI or SSDI, our Social Security attorneys know how the SSA works and can help you figure out which disability benefits you may be able to receive.
Helpful Disability Benefits Application Tips From Our Attorney
Do not include irrelevant factors in your SSDI application. The SSA only considers if you are physically and mentally capable of obtaining suitable employment. That's it.
They don't care if you feel no one will hire you with your condition or if you think you will be unable to pass an employment physical. The state of the job market in your area of residence or whether you can only find work that will not meet your financial needs is irrelevant to the SSA when it comes to Social Security Disability claims.
Include your documentation. With the Social Security Administration, you can never provide them with too much information. Gather all the medical evidence you can, including physician notes, mental health records, blood work results, and MRI, CAT scan, and X-ray reports.
Document every medical visit, test, prescription, and therapy received. Make a list of every doctor you see and every medicine you take. Keep a daily journal to record your pain and any events hindered by your disability. Taking these steps will bolster your Social Security Disability claim and improve your chance of approval by the SSA.
Make sure your information and medical records are timely enough to be relevant to your condition. They must be accurate, complete, and according to the standards of the SSA acceptable medical sources. Double check to make sure your doctor's notes are legible and thorough.
Generally, the SSA assumes if your disability is significant enough to prevent you from working, you should have sufficient medical evidence to help prove your claim and receive Social Security Disability benefits.
Follow doctor's orders. The SSA presumes you want to get better. Failure to follow a physician's prescribed course of treatment can cause your application to be quickly denied.
Unfortunately, the inability to pay for medical care or belonging to a religious organization that does not believe in medical care are not viable reasons to reject treatment in the eyes of the SSA. If you do not believe a treatment will help your condition, make sure to have your doctor document its odds of success.
Detail your symptoms. You are not a medical expert, and the SSA understands this. However, you are an expert on your symptoms and how they affect your daily living. Explain all of your symptoms without exaggeration or minimization. No symptom is too minor to be considered.
Questions to consider when documenting your symptoms include:
How severe is your pain? What lessens or aggravates it? Is it constant or does it come and go?
Do you have any fatigue or shortness of breath? Is it continual?
What is the impact your disability has on your personal hygiene, dressing, driving, shopping, and housework? Does it interfere with your ability to interact with family, friends, or participate in sports?
List your restrictions. The SSA considers disability to be impairment, so provide a list of your limitations. Can you stand or walk? Are you able to bend, twist, kneel, or sit for long periods of time? Does your disability prevent you from getting a good night's sleep? Do you have trouble grasping or otherwise using your hands?
Other Useful Tips:
Be honest in your claim for benefits
The SSA is actively looking for evidence of fraud or anything else that might damage your credibility. Don't contradict yourself. Even simple mistakes or lapses in memory may cause them to question your benefits claim.
Cooperate with your claim examiner
Release any and all medical records requested by your claim examiner. If you are required to be examined by the Social Security Administration, don't miss the appointment. If you fail to cooperate with your examiner, your SSDI claim will most likely be denied.
Make yourself available to the Social Security Agency
If your benefits claim examiner is not able to connect with you in a timely manner, it can cause them to reject your application. You need to make sure that you attend, and are prepared for, your disability interview. Obtaining the help of a skilled social security disabilty attorney who can serve as your representative can help to ensure your examiner is able to communicate with you about critical matters that apply to your disability benefits case. Our disability lawyers offer a free consultation with no obligation.
If your claim is denied, quickly appeal and consider contacting a lawyer!
Unfortunately, even a pristine and thoroughly completed SSDI application won't guarantee a granting of benefits. If your claim is denied, don't give up! More than 60% of the disability benefits claims that are reviewed by a Tennessee administrative law judge (ALJ) are granted. Request your appeal as soon as possible as there is a 60-day time limit. If you wait too long, you will be required to begin the process all over again according to SSA regulations.
Need More Information? Need Help With Your Application? We Will Evaluate Your Case For Free. Call Us Today!
We understand applying for Social Security Disability benefits may seem like a daunting task, but we are here to help with your SSDI case! If you are concerned whether you meet the qualifications for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits or Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI), our insightful Chattanooga disability lawyers can offer a case evaluation free of charge.
Jackson Law Firm, PLLC offers you the personalized attention and assertive representation you need and deserve through every stage when applying for social security benefits. Our social security lawyers operate on a contingency basis for our clients when we take your case. This means you will not owe us a dime for your case unless you are granted social security benefits.