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Tips for Applying for Disability

If you are disabled and seriously considering applying for Social Security Disability, you’ve probably heard people say something to the effect of, “It’s nearly impossible to get approved!” To an extent, this is true. Mainly because the Social Security Administration has a very strict definition of “disability.” Under the SSA’s definition, to be disabled means that you have a condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.

Having a medical condition that will last a year or more is not enough. In order to qualify for disability benefits, your condition must prevent you from engaging in lighter, easier, or modified work. For example, if you were confined to a wheelchair, the SSA would want to know, “Can you use your arms?” If your upper body is fine and you can do data entry-type work, or if you can answer phones, you probably wouldn’t qualify for disability benefits.

Incomplete Applications Cause Delays

When people apply for disability benefits, they have a large responsibility in regards to gathering the right documents. Many applicants would attest that applying for disability is a job in itself, especially for people who have physical or cognitive issues that make filling out an application exceedingly difficult. To improve your chances of getting approved for SSD benefits the first time, follow our advice:

  • Before filing a claim, gather all of your medical records.
  • Be sure to receive proper medical care for your condition. If you don’t keep up with your doctors’ visits, this will act against you.
  • Understand that your doctor’s opinion about your condition can make or break your claim.
  • If possible, have your doctor fill out a residual functional capacity form, which details your limitations and provides a forecast of your ailment.
  • Once you apply for disability, the SSA will send you a package in the mail. Resubmit your medical records with the forms included in the package.

Note: One of the biggest mistakes that applicants make is continue working a full-time job until they apply for disability, or until the SSA renders a decision. Even if they can’t afford not to work, this practice will undermine a disability application, often leading to a denial.

For professional assistance filing a disability claim, contact our firm to meet with a Dallas Social Security Disability Attorney.