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Do’s and Don’ts

Do's and Don'ts When Filing Social Security Disability Claims

At Disability Action Advocates, we focus on one thing: Social Security claims. Whether you are seeking benefits under Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income, we can help you by preparing your application for a successful claim and sparing you the necessity of finding your way through governmental red tape. Here are some points that we have found to be most important over the past 20 years.

Important Actions to Take

Don't assume that all you have to do is fill out the application for benefits and send in a doctor's note. Over 60 million Americans currently receive coverage under Social Security, and millions more apply every year. Over two thirds of initial applications are denied. You must do everything you can to provide a compelling request for benefits that will meet the Social Security Administration's criteria for approval.

Do seek treatment for your condition as much as you can afford. Success in the claims process depends largely on having a substantial medical history to document the injury or illness, and if you can show that you have been actively receiving medical care it will increase your chances of approval. This can be difficult if you lack insurance, but we can advise you of strategies for seeking benefits without health insurance.

Don't wait until your disability has kept you out of work for a full year. To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits , you must prove that the condition will make it impossible for you to work for at least a year, but you can often get a medical opinion to this effect well before a year has passed.

Do get the help of a qualified lawyer as early as possible. Many people wait until they have been denied SSD benefits, and this opens the door to extremely long wait times for a disability hearing. If you contact us before you begin the application process, we can gather sufficient medical testimony and other evidence to support your claim, as well as helping you avoid making errors on the paperwork.

Don't exaggerate your condition in an attempt to secure benefits. If you present an unrealistic picture of your disability, you may be denied on the grounds that your testimony is unreliable. You should avoid making unrealistic statements about your symptoms and instead rely on extensive documentation with details about how the disability practically affects your daily routines and your job duties, as well as medical records that clearly portray the existence of the condition.