Let's be honest: nothing beats the feeling of being independent!
For most people, a lot of this independence comes from having a job. It feels good to work and make your own money! It feels good to be productive, to be able to afford the basics in life, and occasionally have a little extra to spend. Your occupation is a significant part of your life, and provides you with a sense of pride.
But imagine NOT being able to work. What if a physical or mental ailment completely hinders any chance you might have to return to your job?
What Do You Do Next?
Well, you apply for disability benefits. These benefits provide monthly payments and health insurance to those who cannot work. For many of our clients, disability benefits are necessary to sustain and survive.
How Do I Know if I Qualify for Disability Benefits?
The definition of disability varies depending on the system. The Social Security Administration will only pay for disabilities that are “total” disabilities and will not pay for partial disability or for short-term disability.
But what exactly are they looking for when it comes to disability?
"Disability" Under Social Security Usually Requires That:
- You cannot do the work that you did before;
- You cannot adjust to other work because of your conditions; and
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year, or will result in death.
What Do I Need to Prove I’m Disabled?
First of all, you need to go to the doctor. Regardless of if doctor's visits do anything to improve your condition, their documentation of your problems could make the difference in whether you receive benefits or not.
These documentations are known as medical records, and medical records are the key to your claim. They are arguably the most vital and crucial aspects of your disability.
However, it is equally as crucial that these records and complete and accurate. Better medical records equal a stronger claim. But what should you do right now to help get the best claim possible?
5 Crucial Steps To Strengthen Your Disability Claim:
1) See your doctor regularly and follow his or her’s recommendations.
2) You must secure ongoing medical care. Failure to do so will dramatically decrease your chances of being picked up for Social Security disability.
3) If you wish to change medications, consult your doctor – do not switch medications on your own.
4) Do not change healthcare providers unless your current provider does not support your application.
5) If you have a mental health issue, see a counselor. If possible, try to see a counselor with a PhD or M.D. since Social Security only considers people with these credentials acceptable when applying for disability.
By following these steps, you are setting yourself on the right track for an approved disability application!
But if I Can Do These Myself, Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
It's time to be honest with you...when it comes to filing a claim for disability, it is hard to do it right. Often times what a claimant believes is important for their case will have no effect on it.
Alternatively, something a claimant thinks is unimportant to their case may be crucial. Understanding the importance of certain factors could make all the difference.