In an ideal world, anyone who has suffered from a disabling injury will be compensated medically, emotionally, and financially. For that purpose, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has launched its two disability insurance programs; Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The SSDI program offers paid benefits to the disabled and their dependents, given that they’re insured, have worked long enough, and paid all their Social Security taxes. On the other hand, the SSI program is offered to those who haven’t worked long enough at a company nor paid all their taxes. To qualify for SSI insurance, employees must lack sufficient assets, income, or both.
Unfortunately, out of the 2 million-plus claims filed every year for SSDI benefits, less than 30% are approved. This percentage is even lower for those filing for SSI benefits. Does this mean you should give up at the first rejection, or even give up on trying in the first place? Not at all! All you need is the right kind of help to maximize your chances of winning your case. Here are 6 steps to improve your chances.
1. Keep Full Track of Medical Records
Describing your medical condition down to the smallest details is not enough; you’ll be required to submit a definitive proof of your account and case. The only way you can provide this proof is through your medical records, which need to be well-documented, accurate, and complete. Although the SSA will directly reach your physicians and inquire about your case, it’s better for you to have a complete and accurate copy of your case and all the documents included, so you can make sure no important documents are lost on the way. Moreover, make sure to keep updating your medical file with any new events. You should also include any collateral medical events that don’t directly fall under your main disability. If you’re undergoing anxiety treatment in addition to the physical therapy, make sure to add these documents as well.
2. Hire an SSD Specialized Lawyer
Some people like to handle their cases on their own, but that might not be the smartest approach when dealing with the SSA’s system. Since there are millions of claims and a plethora of requirements, any shortcomings in the files you submit will automatically translate into rejection. The best way to ensure that you’re well-prepared is to hire a specialized SSD lawyer who can break down your case and guide you through every step of the claim process.
With the help of an experienced, locally-based lawyer, you can maneuver through the SSA’s regulations imposed on your own state. For instance, an SSD lawyer in Honolulu will alert you that Hawaii is one of the few states that provide temporary disability insurance. The lawyer will also guide you through the claim process, ensuring that your application and documents are all up to par with the needed requirements.
3. Make Sure to Complete Your Application
The SSA’s application might be long and intensive, but it’s clear enough for anyone to follow and complete. The SSA has even published clear guidelines to make filling the application easier, so you don’t really have any excuse. The mistake that most people fall into is that they don’t provide all the needed information, whether it’s through missing some key points or failing to provide detailed and accurate information. In addition to the basic personal information, you should be prepared to deliver a full account of your medical history and condition, as well as your work details over the previous 15 years.
4. Be a Good Patient
Make sure to stick to your treatment regimen and avoid slacking on medication, rehabilitation sessions, follow-up sessions, or other forms of doctor-orders. The worst thing you can do is hinder your application under the accusation of refusing to get better. After all, sticking to your treatment plan will benefit you the most. On the other hand, failing to follow your treatment protocol will undeniably prove to the SSA that you’re not trying to get better, and your application will be denied.
5. Consistently Follow Up On Your Claim
With millions of claims being filed to the SSA, the urgent and serious claims are always buried under mountains of filler claims. To make sure they’re paying good attention to your case and you’re not being forgotten, make sure to regularly follow up on your case and inquire about its status. This will prove crucial in the case of being rejected, where the window for submitting an appeal is limited.
Although there is a very high chance of your SSD claim being rejected, it’s not totally hopeless. It surely pays to be well-prepared and have a complete and accurate set of documents at your disposal to provide upon request. That way, even if you are rejected, you can work quickly and efficiently to appeal the decision if you know what needs to be done.