The Social Security Disability process is complex. Knowing how the system works is an important part of getting your disability benefits approved.
Here are a few tips to help you move your claim through the system and make sure the right people at Social Security have the information they need to make a disability decision.
1: Don’t go at it alone. Get help.
While you can file on your own, it is often quicker and easier to file using an experienced company or attorney. They will take the stress out of determining which programs you qualify for, which benefits you are entitled to receive, and help you avoid delays and denials caused by incorrect or missing information provided on your application.
These small mistakes can affect whether you win your case, how much monthly financial aid is granted, and also how much back payment you are eligible to receive.
The average application process includes up to 3 different applications and more than 25 pages of paperwork. It is highly recommended to work with someone who is experienced and has a track record of successful claims, otherwise you may risk losing thousands of dollars in lifetime benefits.
We recommend completing this free evaluation to see if you qualify for professional support at no up-front cost to you.
2: Visit the doctor regularly.
Your Social Security disability claim will be evaluated on the basis of your medical records. It is beneficial to receive regular, ongoing medical treatment in the months (years if possible) before you apply.
The Social Security Administration may not consider your medical condition severe if you have not been visiting a doctor often. In general, it is recommended to be seen by a medical practitioner at least once every two months.
If you do not have medical coverage try to be seen by a free clinic, county health department, or emergency room so you have a record of consistently monitoring your condition with medical professionals.
3: Take your medications as prescribed.
Failing to follow prescribed treatment may affect how Social Security views your impairments. In many cases, judges have denied claims on the grounds that an applicant did not take what was prescribed by their medical practitioner.
If you have trouble obtaining your prescribed medication because of your disability or financial situation ask a friend or family member for help, or discuss options with your doctor.
You can also learn about Prescription Assistance Programs (PAPs) here.
4: Ask your treating physician to complete an RFC form.
The Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form is a way for Social Security Disability examiners to determine your functional capacity (ie. what you can and cannot do) as a result of your medical condition.
You can fill out the RFC yourself, but having the form filled out by your doctor can increase your chances of being awarded Social Security Disability benefits.
In many cases, your doctor will have a better understanding of how your disability affects you, and be able to accurately present your limitations and functional capacity to the Social Security Administration. If you want your doctor to fill out an RFC for you, you will need to bring the form in for them to fill out.
You can request the RFC form from your local Social Security office or you can download it directly from the Social Security website.
5: Don’t give up.
The process for receiving a Social Security Disability determination can be long and frustrating. Many people are disheartened throughout the process, especially when you are in real need of the benefits you paid for with your Social Security taxes.
Over 60% of applicants that are denied Social Security Disability benefits on their first attempt give up. Many of those applicants would have eventually received benefits had they reapplied and kept going.
It is recommended to obtain legal counsel to help you navigate the options available and have the Social Security Administration reconsider your application.
To start the process of getting approved for benefits, and speak to someone that can help you apply, click the button below and complete the quick 30 second form now. We hope to help you receive the benefits you deserve!