If you can no longer work due to a disabling medical condition, you could qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) runs two programs that provide monthly compensation to disabled workers: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). A disability attorney can help you determine which of the programs you qualify for and can help you build a winning claim.
When you meet with your Social Security disability lawyer for the first time, you should bring several things with you. These items will help your lawyer review your claim effectively and will allow them to give you an accurate appraisal of your options.
The Items You Should Bring to Your First Meeting With a Disability Lawyer
Here are some items to bring to your first meeting with a disability lawyer:
Your medical records are vital to your Social Security disability application. The SSA has strict requirements as to what conditions qualify for benefits. Its “Blue Book” lists the conditions eligible for automatic approval (provided you meet all the criteria for a given condition). If you do not satisfy a listing, you can be approved by showing that your condition affects your functional capacity similar to the way a condition in the book would.
By providing your attorney with copies of your medical records, you give them the chance to determine how best to go about making your case for benefits.
Contact Info for All of Your Treating Physicians
Your doctors are another essential component of a successful claim. After your attorney reviews your case, they might decide that a personal statement from one or more of your treating physicians is necessary.
As your attorney continues to work on your claim, there could be many reasons why they would need to get in touch with your doctor. That is why you should come to the initial meeting with a list of doctors who are treating you, along with contact information for each of them.
Dates of Your Doctor Visits
Since you will need to list your treatment history on your application, including the dates you have seen your various doctors, you should go ahead and have that information handy when meeting with your attorney. It will help your lawyer organize your claim in a way that is straightforward and easy to follow.
List of Medications
The SSA will want to know the name of every prescription you are taking. Moreover, your lawyer, from their past experience fighting disability claims, might notice a certain medication on your list and ask for more information, details that could bolster your claim and give it a stronger chance of approval.
Make sure you bring with you to the appointment your current or most recent employment information, including: the name of the company, the dates you were employed, the nature of your job, your wage or salary, and the contact information for your supervisor.
Denial Letters, if Applicable
If you have been denied Social Security benefits, take your denial letter with you to your attorney consultation. Often, it holds valuable information that a lawyer can use to strengthen your application before you resubmit it for an appeal.
You should also consider bringing your application paperwork with you to the consultation. If after reviewing your case the attorney believes you have a strong chance of being approved and that they can help you, you will want to get started on the process right away.
Social Security disability has long wait times — often up to a year or longer if you do not get approved before the hearing stage. By having everything you need to apply with you at the consultation, you can get started right away and set the process in motion.
Workers’ Compensation Documents, if Applicable
If your injury occurred at work, you might have been eligible to collect workers’ compensation. If so, bring the paperwork to your consultation so your attorney can review them. These documents are often beneficial to your case.
Anything Else You Think Your Lawyer Should See
Although it is possible to bring too little to your consultation, you can never have too much information. Your attorney can always disregard anything that is not applicable or does not help your claim. Aside from what we mentioned here to bring to your first meeting with a disability lawyer, if you have a document or piece of evidence you think might help, bring it with you.
To Schedule a Free Case Evaluation, Call 866-628-8179 Today
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC look forward to helping you collect the disability benefits you deserve. It starts with a free consultation and case evaluation with a member of our staff.
To get started, call us at 866-628-8179.