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Top 7 tips to get benefits

 1.    Research your diagnosis and determine if it in the SSA listing of Impairments.

If it is not on the SSA listing of impairments, find out the types of symptoms and conditions you will need to include on your disability application to prove that your condition is so severe that you cannot work.

2.    Document all of your medical care.

Too many SSI and SSI claimants see dozens of doctors and cannot remember who they visited or when. The SSA will not expect you to provide your own medical documentation but you must be able to provide them with a list of your doctor’s names, addresses, phone numbers and dates of treatment on the disability application. Providing accurate information on the disability application  is the most important step to expediting your SSI or SSDI disability case.

If you have recent medical records you can also provide these to the SSA. Do you have to get copies of your medical records? No, but having them and presenting them to the SSA is one more way you can dramatically decrease your wait time to get SSDI or SSI benefits.

3.    Continue to get good medical care.

This can be one of the most difficult steps for claimants, especially if they have had to stop working and they no longer have medical insurance. Unfortunately, if you do not have recent medical records which clearly show that you have a severe health condition which does not allow you to work for at least 12 continues months this will almost guarantee that you will be denied SSI or SSDI benefits.

4.    Complete a disability application as soon as you are unable to perform substantial gainful activity for at least 12 continuous months.

This is a very common issue which causes claimants a great deal of confusion. You do not have to be OUT OF WORK for 12 continuous months before you apply for SSDI or SSI benefits, you only must have a condition which is expected to LAST for 12 continuous months. The disability process is very long; do not wait to complete the disability application.

5.    Communicate with your doctor and follow up with them.

If your doctor has agreed to complete a residual functional capacity form or the SSA has requested medical records from their practice it never hurts to follow up with a courtesy call. If the SSA does not receive the medical records from your doctors they are not able to make a good disability determination.

6.    Take your time with the application.

Inaccurate or incomplete information on a SSDI or SSI application will hurt your case. Take your time. If you need help, contact the SSA or talk to a disability lawyer. If you have a social worker or case manager who has been assigned to work with you, talk to them and find out what the SSA needs to make a good disability determination decision. Complete and accurate applications will reduce the amount of time it takes the SSA to make a decision.

Be consistent on the information you have provided. For instance, doctor’s information, dates of service, activity levels, and listed symptoms should be uniform across the forms.

7.    Talk to a disability lawyer.

Disability lawyers only get paid if they win your case. They are paid on a contingency fee basis and receive 25% of your back pay up to a maximum of $6,000. Most claimants do have back pay due to the length of the disability determination process.

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