If you are unable to work because of a medical condition, you may decide to apply for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees disability programs that provide monthly benefits to those who are unable to work.
While anyone can apply for disability benefits, you have probably heard that many people choose to enlist the help of a seasoned professional, such as a disability attorney or an advocate who help people with their disability claims.
Documentation is Essential
Having the proper documentation is the key to making sure you prove that you are unable to work so you will be awarded benefits. Your application is useless without the proper supporting evidence. You need to make sure copies of all your medical records are sent to Disability Determination Services.
These records should include examination notes, physician notes, details about any limitations and restrictions you have because of your condition, test records, lab results, treatment plans, prescription drugs, and any other information that can support your claim, including your journal or documentation about how your daily life has been impacted by your medical problems. Because documentation is essential to winning a disability case, an attorney can play a significant role with this aspect of the success of your claim.
Your attorney can help get your medical records released to the SSA and stay updated in regards to how the claim is progressing as it should in hopes you get approved for benefits without having to proceed to the next level.
Getting Help from an Advocate or an Attorney
Enlisting the expertise of a disability advocate or Social Security disability attorney can go a long way in helping you win your claim. They can help you gather up the documentation and evidence that is needed to prove your case. Advocates and attorneys are also familiar with how the disability process works, so they can help you if your claim is denied.
They understand how to file the necessary appeals and to proceed to the next level. The final step, after your claim has been denied twice, is to request a hearing before an administrative law judge. The waiting period for a hearing can be anywhere from 12 to 18 months away from when you file the appeal and make the request.
Help at the Hearing
When you appear at the hearing before the administrative law judge, you can benefit significantly by having an advocate or an attorney representing you. They will support you at the hearing, submit the evidence to the judge, ask you questions in front of the judge that supports your disability claim, and provide the details that are needed to show the judge and the vocational expert, if one is in attendance, that you are incapable of performing any kind of work to make a living.
Having representation at the hearing can have a positive impact on the outcome of your case. Actually, it has been determined that claimants represented by an attorney are much more likely to be approved for benefits. If you'd like to speak with an attorney, take a free evaluation today.