How to Get Social Security Disability Approved
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How to Get Social Security Disability Approved
Applying for Social Security Disability (SSD or SSDI) is a stressful process because waiting for the decision leaves the applicant in limbo until a final decision is rendered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The feeling of helplessness during the waiting period can be the worst part of the process. But there are things you can do to improve your chances of being granted the SSD benefit payments you deserve.
M.J. Ellis Disability Law specializes in getting every eligible Social Security Disability claimant the maximum benefits for which they qualify and fighting to prevent the SSA from denying valid claims. Our entire staff is committed to keeping M.J. Ellis Disability Law the finest and hardest working Social Security Disability law firm in Northern New Jersey and the surrounding area.
In this blog post, we explain some of the things you can do to give your SSD claim the best chance of being granted and some things to avoid that might decrease the likelihood of winning benefits.
Choose an Experienced SSD Lawyer
Getting a lawyer to help you prepare and file your SSD claim is not required, but it is highly recommended if you want to improve the quality of your SSD application. After years of experience working exclusively on disability claims and working with the Social Security bureaucracy, skilled disability lawyers know how to assemble the most favorable claim packages and how to work with the decision makers in the SSA. As a novice applying without the help of an experienced SSD attorney, people are prone to making some of the natural errors common to those who are unfamiliar with the SSD claims system.
No fees are charged unless and until you win your SSD claim and then the fee is limited by government regulations to ensure you’re not charged too much. At M.J. Ellis Disability Law, we discuss the entire process with our clients at the beginning of our work so there are never any surprises for our clients.
Seek and Continue Full Treatment
One of the most important components of a successful Social Security Disability claim is a full, clear, ongoing record of treatment. There are several reasons why a sustained record of treatment is so heavily valued by the SSA in determining disability benefit claims.
The Social Security Administration defines a disability as a “medically determinable” impairment that has or will last for at least 12 months. If you are newly disabled and the nature of your impairment is not an obviously long-term disability, then the SSA may question whether your condition might improve. Consistent medical treatment or a regular schedule of medical monitoring generates doctor’s notes, lab tests, x-rays, CT-scans, MRIs, and other objective data that helps to confirm that your doctor’s diagnosis is correct.
If you visit a doctor for an initial diagnosis which amounts to a permanent disability and then stop seeking record generating treatment or check-up visits, your medical records can be too insubstantial to persuade the SSD assessment workers of the genuineness and severity of your disability.
Medical Records, Treatment Records, Therapy Records, and More
One of the most valuable roles an experienced SSD lawyer fill in the disability application process is doing the legwork to identify, gather, and organize all the client’s records for submission to the SSA in a form and arrangement that makes reviewing the records easy. The medical records and other related documents generated by your treatment is the strongest evidence used to decide if your disability claim gets approved.
And Social Security doesn’t look at those records in a vacuum; your previous records may be relevant too. Someone must contact every one of the doctors, labs, hospitals, and therapists you’ve seen and collect all their records. Then the records must be analyzed to highlight all the most supportive entries to establish your disability. Unfortunately, an SSD claim submitted with few medical records is less likely to be approved.
Keep a Disability Diary
Between doctor’s visits, keeping a daily disability diary is very useful for recording disability-related events that you might forget by the time of your next appointment. If you don’t report that you experience pain or great difficulty performing a daily or weekly task, the doctor can’t record it in your records. Keeping track of every significant event, a fall, a period of confusion, an ache, or a failed attempt to do something will keep your doctor fully informed and better able to assess your condition. It also produces better, more complete medical records for Social Security Disability claims agents to consider.
Important SSD Claim Errors to Avoid
Here is a list of things you can do to harm your Social Security Disability Claim:
- Failing to follow doctor’s recommendations for treatment or therapy
- Missing doctor’s appointments or therapy sessions
- Working while your claim is pending
- Alcohol or unapproved controlled substance (drug) misuse
- Moving or changing phone numbers without notifying your disability lawyer
Get New Jersey’s Experienced Social Security Disability Attorney on Your Case
Attorney Maryjean Ellis has been representing disabled SSD and SSI claimants for more than 25 years. As a long-time member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR), MJ Ellis holds the distinction of being one of the most informed and experienced disability law specialists anywhere. You and your family should have the best SSD attorney you can get for your disability claim. MJ Ellis Disability Law is ready to help you get your SSD benefits today.