You’re starting the process of applying for Social Security disability benefits, but maybe you’ve come across some information that makes you feel uncertain about your application or the process in general. With the vast majority of applications getting denied the first time around and many never getting approved, you might wonder if it’s even worth your time to submit your claim. However, there are several things you can do to submit the strongest application possible.
Looking for more personalized assistance with your application? Call Baker & Baker at 850-433-0888 to schedule a consultation now.
Fill Out Your Application as Thoroughly as Possible
If you’re not sure how to answer a question on the application, get help from an attorney. Do not leave any questions unanswered, as this may be enough to get your application automatically denied. When answering a question, answer in as much detail and with as much documentation as possible. You may think you’re overdoing it, but applications are often denied for insufficient evidence or documentation.
Verify That You Have Substantial Medical Evidence
You will need as much medical evidence and documentation as possible to have your application considered. If you qualify under a Social Security blue book listing, check every single requirement under that listing. Ensure that you have a relevant piece of documentation for every requirement. If you have multiple pieces of documentation, submit all of them for consideration. You want to make it clear beyond any shadow of a doubt that you meet the qualifications and that your disability makes you unable to work.
Provide Work Records
Not only do you have to prove that you have a disability, you have to demonstrate that your disability keeps you from working. This is where work records and documentation can be extremely helpful. Get records from your employer showing every day you have had to call off work because of your disability.
You’ll also want documentation of any accommodations you have received because of your disability and how long you are allowed to have those accommodations. If you need extra breaks or special equipment, ensure that these accommodations are in your paperwork. If you have ever been written up for not hitting productivity guidelines or for calling in too often, provide copies of those write-ups as well.
Turn to a Disability Attorney
One of the best things you can do for your disability claim is hire a disability attorney. The Social Security Administration seems to change their requirements on a near-constant basis, which is extremely frustrating for those applying for disability. Trying to hit a moving target is nearly impossible, which is why hiring a disability attorney can be helpful.
An attorney who specializes only in disability law knows exactly what the SSA looks for, why claims are currently getting denied, and what successful applicants are getting right. Your attorney will be able to go through your application with a fine-tooth comb, look for inconsistencies, spot incomplete or unclear answers, and find areas where you could use more documentation. By helping you solve these problems, your attorney can ensure that you submit the best application possible the first time around. As a result, you skip the unnecessary delays and get your application considered right away.
If you have already had your claim denied, you still have a shot at disability benefits. Again, your best option is to hire a disability attorney. They will be able identify problems in your application and figure out why it was denied. From there, they can help you through the appeals process and strengthen your application to the point that it can be reconsidered.
For maximum benefit, consider an attorney who works exclusively in disability law, rather than one who does disability law in addition to a dozen other practice areas. This is a fairly complex area of law, and your needs are best served by someone who is entirely committed to disability advocacy.
Choose Baker & Baker for Your SSDI Needs
Whether you are just starting your application, or you have received a denial letter, the team at Baker & Baker is here to help you. Set up a time to go through your application by contacting us or calling us at 840-433-0888.