If you cannot work due to a disabling medical condition, you could be eligible to win Social Security Disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers two benefit programs for disabled Americans: SSDI, for those who have established work histories, and SSI, for qualifying applicants with low incomes and few personal assets.
If you file an application [In Progress: link to https://www.socialsecuritylawcenter.info/frequently-asked-questions/how-to-file-a-social-security-disability-application/] for disability benefits and get an approval from the SSA, you can receive a monthly check to make up for part of the income you can longer earn from work. Be aware, though, that only applicants who are fully disabled will qualify for disability, and the approval standards are high. The majority of first-time applicants receive denials. This means you must submit a strong application and thorough, compelling evidence [In Progress: link to https://www.socialsecuritylawcenter.info/frequently-asked-questions/what-kind-of-evidence-is-used-to-evaluate-and-decide-my-disability-benefit-claim/] to win your claim.
Here are some tips on how to maximize your chances of winning disability benefits. For a free consultation with a law firm that has helped dozens of clients win benefits, call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, at 866-628-8179.
How Soon Should I File My Application?
Assuming the SSA approves your application, it might take several months before you actually receive your first check. However, your effective date of benefits is much earlier—either the day you became disabled or the day the SSA received your application, depending on a few factors.
The earlier you apply, the sooner you can receive your first check. Not to mention, if it turns out your effective date is the day the SSA receives your application, then you could effectively forfeit weeks or even months of benefits by waiting to apply.
Once you have a diagnosis of a disabling medical condition, contact us. We can begin working on your application right away.
Should I Consult With My Doctor First?
Your disability claim is always stronger if your doctor supports it. After all, they are the one furnishing most of the hard evidence you need to prove your case.
In certain situations, such as when your condition does not meet the criteria of a listing in the SSA’s Blue Book, you must make a strong case that you deserve benefits regardless.
One of the most effective ways to do this is to have your doctor complete a residual functional capacity (RFC) test on your behalf. This is an evaluation that objectively measures how your condition impacts your ability to work and carry out daily living activities.
By consulting with your doctor early on in the process, you can be sure that they are on board and supportive of your quest for benefits.
What Could Cause a Denial of My Application?
Applicants receive denials for many reasons [In Progress: link to https://www.socialsecuritylawcenter.info/frequently-asked-questions/what-is-a-social-security-disability-denial-based-on/]. Some fail to convince the SSA that they are genuinely unable to work and earn a living. Others have not had a disabling medical condition for at least 12 months, which is automatic grounds for denial.
For many applicants, the problem is their application contains errors—often preventable ones. The SSA is not known for giving applicants the benefit of the doubt. If your application has ambiguities or fails to communicate something clearly, the SSA will not spend too much time trying to figure out what you are trying to say. Instead, it will issue a denial.
How Can I Work With My Claims Examiner?
By responding promptly and courteously to calls and letters from your claims examiner, not only does your application work its way through the system faster, but you make their job easier. In general, people want to help those who show them respect and make their job a little less stressful.
Having a good relationship with your claims examiner could help you in a borderline case.
Do I Need a Disability Lawyer?
For first-time applicants, the chances of receiving an approval from the SSA are slim. Winning an appeal after an application denial is even more difficult without the help of a lawyer.
A good disability lawyer will have worked with many clients in the past, sometimes hundreds. In the course of their career, they learn what makes applications successful, as well as the things that can cause challenges.
By working with one of our lawyers instead of facing the application process on your own, you can preemptively avoid many of the pitfalls that cause the majority of rejections.
To Schedule a Free Consultation With a Disability Lawyer, Call 866-628-8179.
The disability attorneys at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, want to help you get approved for disability on the first try. If you are filing an appeal after a denial, we want to help you make it a successful one. For a free consultation, call us today at 866-628-8179.