Most people assume they will never need a disability attorney but many people do. For people who are 20 today, one quarter of the will become disabled before they reach the age of 67, according to new research. Nearly 5.7 million people were receiving Social Security benefits in 2012. Of those, 48% were people who had retired, 17% were disabled and 35% were the dependents of workers who had died. If you find yourself in a position to file for disability benefits, the first thing you need to do is talk to a disability lawyer. Having someone act as your legal representative through this process can only help you.
- Know the difference between the two programs. There are two disability programs that are run by the Social Security Administration. You have the SSI and general disability insurance. SSI is for people who have not worked enough or paid enough into the system to be eligible for the general disability insurance program. You have to have not been able to work due to your disability for at least one year. That means that you have to wait a year to file your disability claim. People who have worked, paid enough taxes into the system and have then become disabled, apply for the general disability insurance program. You can talk to a disability attorney to see if you are eligible for either. You can also check with the Social Security Office. As soon as you think you can apply for either program, you should get on that. The process is long and you probably need those benefits.
- List all of your physical problems on your application. Do not stop with your most severe problems when listing your medical issues on your disability application. When evaluating disability claims, the people at the Social Security Administration look at a person’s complete health picture. Your legal representative would agree that you have got to be as honest as you can about your situation on your disability application. Give contact information for all of the medical professionals you see (doctors, physical therapists, psychologists, chiropractors) and any hospitals where you have been a patient. You will be asked to go over your activity level on a day to day basis. When you answer these questions, think about how you feel on the days when you feel your worst.
- Document everything. The more paperwork you can give your legal representative, the better. They need as much in the way of documentation as you can get. Anything and everything that proves your disability will be used in your case. If you are seeing medical professionals on a regular basis, you will have a better chance of being successful with your disability claim. You can get all of the people involved in your care to include your symptoms in their records. This will help validate what you are going through. Go to specialists as recommended. Just make sure you are getting the best care you can. That will help you and your disability lawyers a lot.
- Appeal any early denial as soon as you can. The Social Security Administration routinely denies claims very early in the process. Have your legal representative file an appeal as soon as you hear that your initial claim has been denied. This is very important. You have two months from the date on the letter that you receive but you do not want to wait until the last minute. Do not let this set back deter you or discourage you. Just because you were denied early does not mean you will not succeed later.
- Get your doctors into the loop. They will play an important role in your disability application. So will all of the people who are involved in your treatment. Make sure they know that you have a legal representative and are filing for disability. It is very important that they respond in a timely fashion to any requests for information from the Social Security Administration. This can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.
The process to apply for disability benefits is long and arduous. Having a disability lawyer by your side will help a lot.