Los Angeles, CA (Vocus/PRWEB) January 19, 2011
10 Ways To Help Win Your Social Security Disability Benefits Claim
1. See a doctor regularly
The best thing you can do for your case is keep your medical records consistent and up to date. When Social Security (or an Administrative Law Judge) reviews your claim, these records are the most important factor in their decision, so see your doctor often and keep him or her informed on your conditions. If you can't afford a doctor, we have a list of no/low cost medical resources by state: http://www.socialsecuritylaw.com/help-center/
2. Comply with your doctor’s orders
It is important that you comply with the treatments that your doctors prescribe for your conditions. If you refuse to take medications or follow other prescribed methods of recovery, Social Security is likely to think that your actions are keeping your conditions from improving. By following all of your doctor's orders, you show Social Security that you are doing everything in your power to help your condition improve.
3. Make sure that your lawyer gets your medical records
As previously said, a solid medical history is the best thing for your Social Security case. Medical records are what make up this history, and therefore it is extremely important that you inform your attorney when there are new records to collect. It is also important for your lawyer to know when you are going to the doctor, as they may have forms or questionnaires for your doctor to complete regarding your case.
4. Refrain from drug and alcohol abuse
Social Security no longer pays benefits if drugs or alcohol are contributing factors to a disability. Your case will be denied by Social Security if your medical records show that you have abused drugs or alcohol. If you have used drugs or alcohol in the past, it is important that your medical records show that you have stopped.
5. Be detailed on your applications and paperwork
It is extremely important for your Social Security paperwork to include a very detailed description of how your disability affects your day to day activities. For example, you would not want to fill out a report by saying "I watch TV all day," because Social Security will say "If you can sit and watch TV for 8 hours a day, you can sit and answer phones at a job for 8 hours a day." Rather, you would want to explain how long you can sit in one place before having to readjust, stand up or lay down.
6. Keep in contact with your lawyers and the Social Security Administration
Every day, Social Security denies applications for benefits because they are not able to find the applicant. If you move or change your phone number, it is important that you give the new information to Social Security. In the same regard, it is important that your lawyer knows how to get a hold of you, as they may have forms you need to complete or update information on your claim.
7. Comply with Social Security's requests
Through the decision process, Social Security makes many requests of applicants. It is important that you fill out any paperwork and go to any exams that they request you to go to. If you do not, you may be denied benefits for non-compliance.
8. Keep an eye on your earnings
Social Security has very specific qualifications that must be adhered to in order to qualify for benefits, and the monthly earnings limit is one of the most important. When you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance, this limit is called SGA (Substantial Gainful Activity). For 2011 the limits are as follows:
If you are applying for Supplemental Security Income benefits, the amount differs depending on marital status and state of residency.
9. Write your local congressman
This is a good time to call in the artillery. You elected them, now use them. Write your local congressman a letter outlining your situation and they may make an inquiry about your case to Social Security. While a letter from a congressman cannot influence the decision on your social security claim, it may speed up the process (especially in dire need situations).
10. Don’t give up
Receiving social security benefits is a long and difficult process. Denial rates are high and the majority of cases will not be resolved until an Administrative Law Judge hearing.