It is well publicized that the Social Security Administration (SSA) makes it difficult to collect disability benefits. The application process is difficult and cumbersome. Unfortunately, the SSA will deny valid claims forcing you to utilize the appeals procedure. Fortunately, you can take some steps to improve your chances of getting your claim approved. Some simple steps you can take include:
- Seeing Your Doctor Regularly. The crux of your claim for disability benefits is proving that you have a qualifying disability. To make this claim, you will have to do a lot more than simply complete a claim form saying how badly you feel. Instead, you will need medical documentation and supporting records to justify your disability. The less complete your medical records, the more likely the SSA will reject your claim.
- Following Your Doctor's Orders. It's one thing to regularly see your doctor, and it's another thing to listen to your doctor and do what the doctor orders. The SSA will be interested in knowing how your doctor treated your condition and the steps the doctor recommended to improving your condition. If the SSA believes that you did not follow what your doctor ordered, the SSA may deny your claim due to your failure to take the steps necessary to improve your condition.
- Keeping a Journal. Writing a diary may seem like a silly suggestion. However, you should know that the process to collect disability benefits can take many months if not years. As a result, in some but not all situations, you will need to remember the details of your condition including how you feel on a particular day, the medication you took, and your responses to treatment. A journal is a great way to remember such details.
- Working With an Attorney. You should know that you do not have to be alone in the process to collect disability benefits. The process may be new to you; however, an experienced attorney has been through the application and hearing process many times before. You should take advantage of the experience of others and work with an advocate who can help get you approved.
- Appealing a Rejection. The SSA denies most disability claims. Oftentimes, the denial is for insufficient paperwork or other correctable error. You should typically appeal a denial and bolster your initial claim.