The Social Security Administration has two separate disability programs, which means that Americans who have been injured or fallen ill and are no longer able to work should have access to a safety net. Unfortunately, over half of their disability claims are denied on the first application. Many disabled Americans just give up after two or three rejected claims because they get tired of jumping through hoops.
No magic formula guarantees an applicant will be granted disability benefits after filing a single application. However, there are some ways to increase the chances that a disability claim will be approved. Read on to find some tips that will help.
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Hire a Disability Lawyer
Disability lawyers act as advocates for their clients, helping them gather the necessary documentation, fill out forms correctly, and make sure that everything is done on time. They know the ins and outs of the disability application process, from the differences between SSI and SSDI to how to cut through red tape. If a claim filed with the help of a disability advocate still gets denied, the applicant will also benefit from having a lawyer who already understands the case, which can give them a head start.
Be Honest, But Don’t Overshare
People applying for disability are sometimes tempted to exaggerate their symptoms thinking that it will increase the odds of their claims being approved. However, the opposite is usually true. If it seems like someone is faking their symptoms or exaggerating them to deceive the SSA, the person is much less likely to have a claim approved. However, while honesty is the best policy when it comes to filling out paperwork and answering questions, avoid disclosing unsolicited information that could damage the case.
Visit the Doctor Regularly
Few people enjoy going to the doctor, but the more medical proof an applicant has of their disability, the better the chances are of having a claim approved. Anyone who has a qualifying disability but does not have a primary care physician should get one, even if it’s not covered by insurance. Having to provide medical evidence in the form of one-time visits to many random doctors can reduce the validity of a claim and make it less likely to be approved.
Follow All of the Doctor’s Orders
Depending on the cause of a person’s disability, a doctor or medical team may prescribe medications, therapies, or even surgical interventions to help. Patients should follow all of their doctors’ orders and be sure to keep a record. Showing a desire to improve demonstrates that the disability applicant is doing everything possible to get better while refusing to follow a doctor’s prescribed treatment can be considered cause for denying the claim.
People who have recently developed disabilities are often in a lot of pain, and dealing with seemingly endless paperwork, appeals, and hearings can be frustrating. Applicants still need to be respectful and on their best behavior. Dress appropriately, be on time, and maintain a respectful tone when interacting with SSA or DDS employees.
Disabled Americans shouldn’t wait to apply for SSI or SSDI. Procrastinating can increase the chances of a determination that the disability is not serious enough to warrant giving the person the benefits to which they are entitled. Get in touch with a disability lawyer to find out how to begin the application process.
Alan Roodey is a professional Author and contributor to many sites. He loves to write on various topics.