Proven Strategies To Win Your Social Security Disability Case16 Jan
If you are facing an upcoming Social Security disability hearing or have recently been denied and in the appeals process, you are likely asking yourself, “What can I do to give myself the best chance of winning my Social Security disability case?”
It can be tremendously agonizing to be recently diagnosed with a disabling condition by your doctors but then be told you have to wait to find out if you are eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. It’s even more frustrating when you know that you cannot work because of your condition, and so does your doctor, yet for some reason you have had your claim denied and now you have to fight through the appeals process to get what you deserve.
If you are in either of these situations, here are some helpful tips to ensure you have the best chances of winning your case.
Applying for disability benefits for the first time
Do your homework
Be sure to thoroughly read the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book to accurately determine whether or not your disability meets the medical listing. In the event that it does not, you can still win your case, but you may need to go through additional rounds of paperwork, and the need to retain qualified legal counsel looms larger.
Be detailed and thorough in your application
The more detail and facts you can put into your application, the more likely you are to win your case. Never leave the answers to questions blank and avoid answering questions with simple yes/no answers. The Disability Determination Department will be looking for concrete facts and examples of why you are unable to work, and complete and thorough answers will do a much better job of proving your case than short answers.
Submit additional records as they come in
As you undergo treatment for your condition and more details emerge, you want to swiftly submit those medical records to SSA for consideration. Additional medical reports can demonstrate additional facts that will bolster your case and you need all the evidence on your side.
Consider hiring a disability lawyer from the beginning
The above advice seems simple in the abstract, but can become daunting when you are actually going through it. An experienced disability attorney like Evan Marken can help you through each of those processes and give you confidence that you are preparing your documents and conducting your research in the best possible manner. It’s the best way to help you avoid any of the pitfalls that first time applicants fall into, and to ensure your application succeeds the first time.
If Your Initial Application Has Been Denied
File an Appeal
If your application is denied, it’s important to make an appeal and not start over with a new application. The appeals process can seem even more daunting than the initial application process, but filing an appeal gives you a much greater chance of success than you might achieve if you were to simply refile an initial application with slightly different details.
Meet Your Deadlines
All Social Security disability claims come with deadlines and the appellate deadlines are of extreme importance. If you have a deadline you really need to meet it, or otherwise winning cases can turn into losers. Social Security has time periods when it comes to appealing your case for disability benefits, returning paperwork or even keeping an appointment to see one of their doctors.
Comply with Prescribed Treatments
Be sure to comply with the course of treatment recommended by your health team. If you’re prescribed physical therapy, attend the sessions. Take your medications as directed and only discontinue medication after consulting with your doctor. Don’t have health insurance? Learn how you can apply for disability benefits without health insurance.
Again, do yourself a favor: Hire an experienced attorney
Many clients who have navigated the disability appeals process will tell you one of the best things you can do is hire an attorney to advocate for you and make sure your application is strong and that your case is up-to-date. An experienced disability lawyer can help with all the above and take the weight off your shoulders. Clients who hire a disability attorney have a higher likelihood of winning their case, especially if they’ve been initially denied.
Evan Marken is a licensed Social Security Disability and Personal Injury attorney who has represented hundreds upon hundreds of Social Security clients from Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and California.