Social Security Disability Application Tips from Our New York Disability Attorney

March 04,2014
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You might wonder why you should use the services of a New York disability attorney when applying for Social Security disability benefits. After all, the Social Security Administration approves applications based on your medical condition and your inability to work, and you’re obviously not able to work so your application should be approved without question, right? Unfortunately, that usually is not how the process goes. Your condition is apparent to you, of course, but it must be proven to the Social Security Administration. Denial of an application is common. Multiple denials, even, are far too common.

An experienced New York disability lawyer not only can more easily navigate through the complexities and intricacies of the process and the paperwork to be completed and then submitted by the set deadlines, but can also help guide you to a better understanding of your case and provide welcome support through all the stages of the disability benefits application process. More importantly, a disability attorney can improve your chances of winning and receiving the benefits that you deserve.

To improve your chances of a successful application approved by the Social Security Administration, follow the tips below, which emphasize the importance of timely submissions, constant communication, accurate information, extensive documentation and legal representation.

Don’t Delay: Apply Today

Since the Social Security Disability application process can stretch out for months or even years, do not wait to apply. Submit your application as soon as possible. There is no need to wait until your finances are strained, since financial considerations are not a factor in the Social Security Administration’s decision about your eligibility to claim disability benefits.

Identify Every Medical Condition

Be thorough when listing your medical conditions on the application. Do not omit the mention of any medical problem you are experiencing, no matter how minor the symptom might seem. In reviewing claims for benefits, the Social Security Administration evaluates your overall condition, level of functioning and ability to work. One or two issues on their own might not disable you, but the combination of multiple afflictions could be disabling.

Don’t Throw Any Relevant Documentation Away

The Social Security Administration reviews your entire medical record. The more objective evidence that you can produce to prove the existence and extent of your medical condition, the stronger your claim will be in the eyes of the reviewers. Keep all related documentation, which could include doctors’ notes in your chart, receipts from travel to appointments, receipts for purchases of prescriptions, discharge summaries from hospital stays, records of emergency room visits, results of blood work and diagnostic tests, referrals to specialists and more. Organize all of the documentation and keep it handy for review by your New York disability lawyer or for submission to the Social Security Administration in support of your application or subsequent appeals.

If Denied, Reply at Once and Try Again

The Social Security Administration frequently denies applications for disability benefits. Prepare for the possibility of denial, and plan to appeal. If denied, appeal at once. You are allowed only 60 days to file any appeal, so it is important that you don’t delay. If you miss the deadline to appeal, then you will be forced to begin again with a new application.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Communication, both written and verbal, is crucial for the success of your disability claim.

  • You should communicate with yourself in the form of a daily journal, recording how you feel, your pain levels, your response to treatment and your limitations in your day-to-day life.
  • Of critical importance is communication with your health care providers, both about your intent to file a disability claim and about the details of your follow-up care. Your doctor needs to respond in a timely manner to any requests from the Social Security Administration for information about your condition. If possible, have your physician write a letter of support for your application, detailing your limitations and the impact your medical conditions have on your ability to work. Be sure you are clear about the recommended treatment prescribed by your doctor, and follow all directions for medication, follow-up appointments, etc.
  • Communicate with the Social Security Administration about the status of your case, and regularly check your mail for correspondence requesting additional information or specifying important deadlines. Keep the administration informed of your current address at all times.
  • Check in regularly with your attorney for updates on your case or to share additional information about your care or condition.

Always Tell the Truth

Do not exaggerate your symptoms or stretch the truth about their impact on your ability to perform daily tasks. Resist the temptation to make your condition appear more debilitating than it might be. Do not provide the answers you think might help win your case. Instead, be honest at all times. Be truthful in your recounting of the symptoms that you experience, and do not lie about the tasks that you are and are not able to do because of your medical condition. Be candid about your condition at every step of the process, from the initial application to any appeals to any testimony you might be called upon to provide before an administrative law judge. If you are caught in a lie, then you almost certainly will lose your case.

Remain Persistent

The application process for obtaining Social Security disability benefits can be lengthy, especially if your initial or subsequent applications and appeals are denied. Do not give up, though. Continue to file appeals if possible. Have patience, and be persistent despite the frustrations you might encounter along the way.

Hire an Experienced New York Disability Attorney

Focus on your health without the added stress of bureaucracy. Call an experienced New York disability attorney at Hermann Law Group, PLLC, at (914) 286-3030 to handle the paperwork and details of your case.