Keys to a Successful Social Security Disability ApplicationKeys to a Successful Social Security Disability Application

While there is no secret to applying successfully, there are some steps you can take that will increase your chances of getting approved for benefits.

•Be Prepared.
Gather information regarding your medical condition and financial status and have it available when your claim representative conducts the phone or in-person interview. Use the worksheets included in the Adult disability Starter Kit found at http://www.ssa.gov/applyfordisability/adult.htm to collect the information that will be needed.

•Complete the application carefully and thoroughly.
The application itself can be overwhelming, but do not skip over important facts. If you fail to provide all of the information or do not complete all of the forms that are required, your application will likely be denied or at a minimum have approval delayed. Give definitive answers instead of vague ones about your medical condition and financial status, however do not exaggerate your condition.

•Obtain documentation from your doctors.
Discuss your disability with your doctor. Share with him/her your intent to apply for Social Security disability benefits. It is important that he/she supports your disability case. Be sure to obtain documentation from your doctors that specify your disability. Documentation substantiating your disability is a key factor to obtain approval of benefits, and your doctor knows your condition best. Without documentation from your doctor, the SSA will send you to their doctors who are not familiar with your illness/condition and may not be specialists that do not have expert knowledge of your illness/condition.

•Obtain copies of your hospitalization and medical records and provide them to the Social Security Administration.
Yes, the SSA will obtain the records themselves but leaving this up to SSA will slow down the process.


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