SSDI application what do I include?Unfortunately, up to 50-70% of initial SSDI applications are denied. Many denials occur, however, because claimants do not include the proper information about their work history or their medical condition. So how can you improve your chances of winning benefits the first time you apply? Make sure you understand what information you need to prove your case.
Proving you cannot work
Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI is only given to claimants who are insured for SSDI benefits, who have a condition which is severe, who have a condition which will last 12 continuous months, and who have a condition which does not allow them to work.
Assuming you meet the nonmedical requirements for SSDI, the most important information to provide the SSA is medical evidence that you cannot perform what they call substantial gainful activity. As with any legal claim, it is not what you know, it is what you can prove. Proving disability starts with medical information and evidence.
If you have not seen a doctor and have no information about your health condition it will be difficult to prove you are impaired and cannot work. The assumption by the SSA is that if you have a severe health condition you would be getting medical treatment. Medical evidence should include doctor visits, tests, diagnosis, and treatment information.
Getting medical treatment but not following my doctors recommendations
Not only do you need to get good medical care, you need to follow your doctors recommend treatment plan. If you have severe depression but you refuse to see a mental health specialist or take the prescribed medication the SSA is likely to deny your claim, arguing that if you were following your doctors treatment plan your condition might improve which might allow you to return to work.
Document all of your mental and physical restrictions on your SSDI application
Not only do you need to get good medical care and follow your doctors recommendations for treatment, you also need to make sure you have documentation which clearly details all of your symptoms and your restrictions for work and daily activities.
For instance, your medical records should clearly identify your diagnosis, but your Social Security Disability application should clearly detail your symptoms. For example, how severe is your pain? Do certain activities aggravate your symptoms? If you have pain what do you have to do to eliminate it? If you have to take medications or get treatment how long does it take to recover from treatment?
Next, your SSDI application should clearly identify your restrictions. For instance, if you have severe back issues are you able to stand, sit, or walk? How long can you do each activity? Can you manipulate your hands? Can you lift heavy objects? Can you twist, kneel, or stoop?
Finally, information should be included about your daily restrictions. For instance, can you lift a basket of laundry? Can you complete a shopping trip? Do you do your own housecleaning? Can you pay your bills? Do you engage in any social activities?
In conclusion, winning benefits is about proving you cannot work due to a severe, long-term, health condition. The first step is medical evidence; the next step is including the right information on your disability application.