How to Come Out on Top with a Disability Claim
Making a successful disability claim means jumping through lots of hoops. In most cases, an application is usually denied at least once. Due to the shocking regularity of applications being denied, we always tell our clients that the most important step in winning a disability claim is perseverance; never give up and never get discouraged. As long as there is an experienced disability attorney working on the case, chances of absolute denial are pretty small.
Fill Out Paperwork Correctly
Other than persevering, the most important step in winning a disability claim is to make sure all of the paperwork is filled out correctly. The SSA is a government institution and, as such, they cannot handle variances of any kind. Even small errors, like leaving a contact information space blank, can cause the SSA to deny a claim. Having an attorney work on the case and prepare the paperwork can almost guarantee that an application will at least make it through the submission process. At Joseph F. Brown, MD, JD, we believe red tape should never be the reason someone doesn’t get the compensation they deserve.
Mark the Calendar
The next most important thing to do is pay attention to the calendar. Just as with all other types of legal cases, disability cases have multiple deadlines that must be honored. The SSA does not look kindly on those who forget deadlines. In some cases, missing a deadline can destroy any chances of winning a case. Due to the fact that legal deadlines can be sneaky, it is always best to have someone who has experience with disability claims guiding the process. Besides, letting an attorney handle the calendar means more time for recovery.
Schedule a Dr.’s Appointment
After the paperwork has been properly filed and deadlines have been recorded and met, it is time to gather the evidence necessary to prove the claim. This starts with an exam and evaluation by a personal physician. This step should have been completed immediately after the injury; without it, there is very little chance of winning the case. A physician must, through examination, find that the injury is severe so as to render someone incapable of gainful employment. Just what “gainful employment” means is an argument best left to an attorney. Copies of these medical records should be submitted upon each and every SSD application or appeal.
Always Be Cooperative
Finally, one of the most important things anyone can do to successfully apply for and win a disability claim is to be cooperative. During this ordeal, there will be many people working on the case. Some of these people will be less than friendly, some of them may be downright offensive, but trying to maintain a good working relationship with them is key to getting a claim through. If they require that an SSA-approved physician do an exam, agree to those terms; there is nothing that says a private physician’s records can’t be used on appeal.