Author: Tim Moore, Disability Representative and former Disability Examiner
Tips to help win your disability case
This is a list of eight tips that are designed to assist individuals who have not yet filed a claim for SSD or SSI benefits. This list is based on my own years of experience as a disability examiner and as a disability representative.
These tips and advice for your disability claim can help you immensely and give your case a very strong start. They may help you win your case.
- Be ready for your disability application before the process even starts
Interviews with claims reps at field offices can be intimidating and a little nerve racking. That’s why it’s best to be prepared in advance.
- Getting your medical records together yourself could help jumpstart your case
You may wish to consider getting your medical records together and submitting them when you apply for disability. This can help speed up your case because the wait for records is what slows a case down.
- Get your pain symptoms on record so that Social Security can take this into consideration
If you have pain, absolutely mention it when you apply and get it included as part of your disability application. Social Security is required to take your pain into consideration.
- Never minimize your pain or other symptoms because this can be used against you
Do not try to minimize your symptoms, your conditions, or how they affect your ability to do normal daily activities. Your pain limits your ability to work. Be sure to mention any pain meds you may take.
- Always list every one of your medical conditions, physical or mental
Disability cases are almost never won on the basis of one single condition. They are usually won on the basis of several conditions which most people usually have when they apply for disability. So mention every single thing wrong with you, even if you are not being treated for it.
- Also list all your various symptoms on your Disability Application
A person’s various symptoms can go a long way toward establishing just how functionally limited they are. Symptoms illustrate how your disability affects you and your ability to work.
- A “proper” statement from your doctor can have a dramatic effect on your disability case
Your doctor knows what’s wrong with you but do they know how it affects you and your remaining functional capacity, i.e. ability to work? The “right” statement from a doctor can help win your case.
- Strengthening your disability case by providing the details of your work history
I have pointed out many times the fact that most claimants understand the importance of their medical records in reaching a determination on their disability claim, yet simultaneously very few claimants understand the true importance of the information contained in their work history. Social Security needs to know about your oldest AND newest medical records.