While securing social security disability benefits is often a difficult task, there are ways to increase your chances of success.
1. Apply, Appeal Early and Appeal Often. Most people are denied at the initial level. Appeal timely (60 days). Remember, there are many different levels of review in the Social Security adjudication process. It may take longer but worth your while to appeal up rather than start over or give up altogether.
2. Don't be proud - report every disabling condition.
3. Diary. Disabling conditions are much more credible once followed consistently over a period of time.
4. Paper Push. While Social Security will gather some medical benefits on your behalf, it is best practice to gather as much medical evidence as possible so that it can be submitted at the time of your application. Not only does this save time, but increases the chance of securing disability benefits and controlling the information gathering process. In Michigan, medically indigent persons are entitled to their medical records free of charge.
5. Work Closely with your Doctor. To prove disability, SSA expects current medical treatment with medical doctors; not nurse practitioners or physician assistants. Much weight is granted to your treaters when they provide medical source statements or functional capacities forms. This type of information could make the most difference in the outcome of your case.
6. Consult experienced counsel. Disability attorneys know the social security rules and regulations and in a much better position to navigate the disability seeking process. If you are interested in applying for social security disability or were recently denied, speak with one of the experienced disability attorneys of Miller Cohen PLC.