There are some things that you can do to help win your own Social Security Disability (SSD) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) case:
- Submit any and all medical records you have in your possession to Social Security when you first apply;
- Continue to get ongoing medical treatment. Try not to go more than 3 months between visits to the doctor, and try not to miss any scheduled appointments;
- If you are denied (at the initial application, reconsideration, or hearing stage)…appeal right away. After a denial by an Administrative Law Judge, you would need to appeal to the Appeals Council. After the Appeals Council, you would need to file a lawsuit in Federal Court;
- If you see a new doctor, go to the emergency room or an urgent care facility, are hospitalized, or begin treatment at a new clinic, tell Social Security or your representative right away;
- Even if you have a lawyer or representative, always stay involved in your case;
- The Social Security disability application process is long and frustrating. Never take it out on Social Security employees as it can only hurt your case. Also, do not take it out on your lawyer or your lawyer’s staff – they are trying to help you win your case;
- Every few months check in on the status of your disability case with your lawyer or with the local Social Security office where you filed your claim;
- If you do not already have a lawyer, do your research. Check attorney reviews, determine if the lawyer you are considering is a Board Certified Social Security Disability attorney, and consult with a lawyer who has handled many Social Security disability cases;
- Speak to your doctor and see if he or she will complete a physical or mental Residual Functional Capacity form (RFC). These forms can be obtained from your representative;
- Keep a detailed journal of your day-to-day life (sometimes called your activities of daily living) and how your condition affects you. In this journal note things like activities you are having difficulty performing, activities you no longer perform due to your condition, side-effects from your medications, and how your daily life has been affected by your disability.
If you would like to discuss some of these ideas with an experienced disability attorney, contact Pensacola lawyer Nick Ortiz for a free case evaluation at (850) 308-7833.