Advice to Win Social Security Disability and SSI Benefit Claims

A percentage of individuals suffering from significant medical and/or mental conditions may not ever win their Social Security Disability or SSI benefits. Unfortunately, it is not enough to have a severe impairment to win disability benefits from the social security administration. Both Social Security Disability programs (SSD and SSI) have rules and regulations that govern both disability and non-medical disability requirements that must be met in order to win Social Security or Supplemental Security Income.

There are so many things that an individual does not control during the Social Security Disability claims process, so it is important to control the things that you are able to control. So, here's some advice.

First -- you need to acquire your medical records from your treating physicians, as it is important to know whether your physicians support your intention to file for disability. Many people are surprised to find what their physicians have written in notes about them. If your physician supports you decision to file for Social Security Disability, perhaps he would write a detailed physician's statement with regard to you condition, treatment, and prognosis to help you win your Social Security Disability claim.

Secondly -- you may wish to submit copies of your medical treatment records, as this may help expedite the processing of your disability claim. A word of caution here, make sure your medical treatment notes contain current treatment as well as past medical treatment. Social Security considers treatment within the last three months to be current.

Thirdly -- you should cooperate fully with the disability examiner who handles your disability claim. You should always respond to requests for information promptly. Furthermore, you should attend all medical evaluations scheduled by the state disability agency. Failure to attend a medical evaluation may cause your disability case to be denied for failure to cooperate.

Fourth -- you should make sure to check the status of your disability claim to make sure a decision has not been made in your case. Social Security sends decisional notices through the US postal system; consequently there is a chance that your decisional letter could be lost in the mail.

Social Security Disability claims have a sixty-five day appeal period that begins with the date on the disability denial letter, so it is imperative that you know if your disability claim has been denied so that you can file timely appeals.

Fifth and finally, you may wish to retain the services of an attorney or non-attorney representative to help with your Social Security Disability claim should you be denied.

These are just some things you can do to help win your Social Security Disability claim.

Since there are so many things that may affect the outcome of a Social Security Disability claim, you should make sure you have done all you can do to help expedite you disability claim to a favorable decision.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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