An Impairment Alone Doesn’t Guarantee Disability Benefits
Social Security disability benefits are only granted if you can’t work for 12 months because of a condition. Therefore, simply having a medical condition may not be enough to qualify for payments.
How to Provide Proof of Impairment
Roughly 35 percent of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) cases are approved on the first application. This can be because there is a lack of information provided or because there is a chance that the condition could improve. What can do you do help yourself get the SSDI benefits that you may be entitled to?
Obtain Recent Medical Records
The person who examines your case generally cannot approve it unless there are recent medical records verifying that you are disabled. Generally speaking, recent means anything within 90 days of an application being sent in for review. If you haven’t seen your doctor or another treatment provider within that period of time, it may be a good idea to schedule an appointment.
Otherwise, it may be necessary to undergo a consultative examination. While this has little bearing on whether an application is approved, avoiding this step could reduce the necessary processing time.
In some cases, an examiner may request additional information from your doctor or other treatment providers. However, if you know where these records are or how to get them, you can obtain them on your own. This can also work to reduce the amount of time it takes to process your application.
Don’t Minimize Your Pain
During an examination, you may be asked to describe the specific ways in which your condition impacts your life. If you experience constant pain while walking, it is important to mention that. If you can’t sleep because of neck or back pain, you shouldn’t hesitate to mention these issues as well. The more detail that you can provide to a doctor or your case examiner, the easier it will be for the application to be approved on your first try.
Get Statements From Friends or Colleagues
When the examiner is reviewing your case, he or she will be looking for specific details regarding how a condition may impact your ability to work or live a normal life. A statement from your boss saying that you get tired easily or can’t walk more than 50 feet without limping may help your cause. Statements from friends or family members saying that you can’t go outside or be near lights without complaining of blurred vision could also bolster your case.
Get a Letter From Your Doctor
A letter from your personal physician saying that you can’t walk or remember names because of your condition can be helpful. Your doctor should also include a full list of the medications that you take as well as anything that has been done to help improve your condition. If there is no evidence that you have taken medication or gotten surgery to improve your condition, the examiner may deny the application or delay approving it until such steps are taken.
File an Appeal in a Timely Manner
Typically, you get 60 days from the date that an application is denied to file an appeal. You may also get an extra five days to mail the application to the office where the case is being reviewed. It is important that you file an appeal as opposed to filing a new initial application.
If you have any questions about the case, you can consult with a Social Security disability lawyer. It is important to note that an appeal that arrives late may still be considered if you didn’t have access to medical records. Other valid reasons for filing an appeal late include having a mental impairment or losing records because of a natural disaster. However, it is always best to be as timely as possible with your filings.
Working with a Social Security disability lawyer could help you get the compensation that you need to make up for lost wages because of your physical or mental impairment. You can contact the Voorhees Law Office, LLC in Somerville, NJ, by phone at (908) 200-2297. Alternatively, you can send a fax to (908) 704-7329.