Be as thorough as possible with your initial application. List all of your doctors, medications, medical conditions, and background. Sometimes you may or may not realize that all of your conditions combine to make you unable to work, in the eyes of Social Security.
- Immediately appeal if your case is denied. Statistics show a majority of cases are initially denied. This does not mean you will not eventually win your case. We find a majority of successful cases need to be appealed twice in order to have a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, to be successful. If you do not appeal, and just re-apply, you are possibly losing out on some back pay. You can ask for an Attorneys help during any part of the process.
- Immediately send back any requests from SSA. Sometimes SSA will send you a request to sign Form 827, medical release. It is important to complete this form because it means they are working on your case and attempting to obtain additional medical records, which may help you win your case with this additional evidence.
- If you have a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, be sure to thoroughly review your entire file with your Attorney. Most of the time the files are over 1000 pages, and many pages are procedural, but it is possible for there to be hundreds or thousands of pages of medical records. Also, you should review your work history with your Attorney. I have heard of people trying to do their case on their own or not being ready. I truly believe you have a better shot at winning your case if you are thoroughly prepared. Even though generally the medical evidence dictates whether a case is successful or not, we are all human and it’s important to cross T’s and dot I’s in preparation for more reasons than one.
- List all your medications and all your doctors. The reason for this is simple. You may have a doctor who is willing to help more than another doctor with a supporting letter.
- Be sure to tell your Attorney all the times you worked or attempted to work in the last 15 years. This is important because sometimes it may not show up on the Earnings Inquiry by SSA or it could show up and be incorrect. This could determine you winning or losing – depending on a specific job, or specific job description you may have had. It is very important.
- Be careful about internet rumors or sites without valid sources. Call or speak to your local Social Security Disability lawyer.