Planning and preparation are important in many things. They are especially needed in applying for Social Security Disability and waiting for your Social Security Disability hearing.
Being awarded social security disability benefits is not easy. A great majority of applications are denied on the first application and still a greater number is denied after the first appeal. Knowing what to do in preparation for the social security disability hearing is key to increasing your chances of getting the SSDI benefits you are entitled to. Katie M. Golden provides insights on what needs to be done in her article found on Migraine.com (fitting website for those fighting for social security disability benefits). Here are her recommendations with my recommendation incorporated into them.
Discuss Your Application for Social Security Disability With Your Doctor
Medical documentation is key in being awarded SSDI benefits. If your doctor doesn’t think you are disabled or doesn’t know you had to stop working, talk to her or him. Let them know you thinking about filing for SSDI benefits and get their opinion. Communicate your ongoing problems with daily activities and make sure she and he documents them. Your doctor could be asked to complete paperwork used to decide your decision is made. It is imperative that both of you are on the same page. As Ms., Golden states, “If you don’t see eye-to-eye, then get a second opinion!”
Obtain All Your Medical Records
Prior to applying for social security disability benefits, you should request ALL of your medical records or at least know the name and address of ALL medical providers you have seen. Don’t decide which doctors could be helpful or related to your claim. A multitude of conditions is common for those with a chronic illness. Think about any visits to a cardiologist, gastroenterologist, OB/GYN, physical therapist, rheumatologist, neurologist, endocrinologist, and any CT or MRI scans that were used in your diagnosis. Even if you’ve only seen a doctor once, include records from at least the past five years.
If you are not sure about your doctors and you had health insurance, ask your health insurance carrier to provide you a list of all the doctors that they paid benefit to. This could help spark your entire list.
Treat, Treat, Treat
The social security disability judge will want to see what your current medical condition is as well as how it was during your alleged period of disability. Your testimony is not enough. They will need the records of medical providers showing ongoing treatment, ongoing complaints, ongoing inability to work, ongoing medication, etc. A great doctor’s report stating that you are disabled four years before your hearing will not win your case if there is no ongoing treatment.
Ms. Golden correctly states that you will be asked to fill out a form to report on the degree of disability you face on a daily basis. Overwhelm the social security disability judge with details. She is correct in recommending that you open up about the very real daily struggles, which we sometimes don’t like to admit, even to ourselves. Talk about needing help. Talk about how exhausting it is to do daily chores. Talk about the grief you experience because your life has changed. Compare your optimal work performance with your current work product. Be very specific.
Hire a Professional (Attorney) to Help You
I may know a little about fixing my home’s air-conditioning, but I should not try to fix it because I could make it worse. Same thing with handling your own social security disability claim. Hire an attorney who knows how to prepare and plan for a social security disability claim. Our office does not charge our clients any attorneys’ fees or costs unless we are able to obtain SSDI benefits for you.
Applying for, waiting for, and preparing for a social security claim can certainly cause a migraine. If you or someone you know can no longer work because of a disability, prepare and plan so you have a better chance of a favorable result.
Attorneys Matthew Noyes and Lorrie Robinson helps those fighting for social security disability benefits through Tampa Bay, Florida. Mr. Noyes is a named partner at the Tampa Bay law firm of Perenich Caulfield Avril Noyes – one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Pinellas County. Call Attorney Matthew Noyes now at 727-796-8282 or complete the form on this page or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.