Filing for disability is an exhausting, flare inducing process. The paperwork is tedious. But there are a few things you can do to help yourself get approved.
First, it is important to get as many of your medical records as you can. Send in any copies of your medical records with your application. You can simply sign a waiver and provide phone numbers and addresses for your physicians, however, that means someone at the Social Security Administration will have to contact each of those doctors. You are making them have to do extra steps, and so will take longer.
When you are filling out the questions be as detailed as possible. Use extra sheets of paper to write a thorough accounting of your day. When I filled mine out, I wrote my day in great detail. For example; I wake up and my husband helps me out of bed and helps me stabilize due to stiff joints in the morning. He helps me downstairs to the kitchen where he prepares my breakfast. Then he helps me to the bathroom where he helps me into the bath tub. He washes my body and hair for me. after bathing he helps me to dress and then I lay down and rest for a while. After resting I go to physical therapy. etc. The more detailed you are about the difficulties in your life the more likely they are to approve your application.
Be very thorough when explaining why you can no longer work. For example, I was an ER nurse. So I listed in detail what my duties were. They need to be able to clearly see how you are unable to work any longer.
If you have a caregiver, or your spouse or family are a caregiver be sure to list that and list their contact information.
If you need help, you can go in to your local SSA office and one of the employees will help you. I recommend making an appointment as the lines are long for first come first serve.
Keep in mind that the SSA offices are always overcrowded and the employees are overworked. If they are having a bad day and come across your application with no medical records attatched,and not enough information, they will be more likely to dismiss your case or put it aside for later because yours will require extra work. If you cut down the amount of leg work they have to do it increases your likelihood of getting approved.
If your application gets denied, do not give up hope. Find a reputable disability lawyer. There are many that will take your case for a discounted rate or free. If you win your case they will then take a portion of the back payment you receive as their fee. Be sure this person is not trying to take advantage of you. Research their reputation.
So lets do a re-cap:
1. Get as many of your medical records as possible.
2. Write as much detail about how difficult your life has become due to your disability.
3. Include who your caregiver is and what they do for you on a daily basis
4. If you need help, schedule an appointment with your local SSA office.
5. If denied, dont give up. Hire reputable lawyer to help you fight your case!
We here at Spoonies For Life thank you for taking the time to read this article. We hope it has helped you in your disabilty process. If you have questions feel free to message us and we will do our best to help you!
For more discussion and personal experiences, watch this episode of Spoonie Space: