How to Be Approved for Disability Benefits

A Top Ten Disability Group in the U.S.

Filing for Social Security disability benefits can be overwhelming.  There is a lot of paperwork.  Unfortunately, Social Security only approves approximately 35% of claims.  There are some things you can do to help get approved for disability benefits. 

Make sure your application is complete

Before starting your disability application, make sure that you’re prepared.  Social Security needs quite a bit of information to process your claim.  Social Security has a checklist that you can follow.  An experienced disability advocate can help you prepare filing your disability claim.  Your chances improve when you give Social Security complete information.  Missing information can often lead to a denial. 

What information do I need to complete my application?

Most importantly, you must provide your doctors’ information and work history.  You should provide all of the doctors you’ve seen since you stopped working or became unable to work.  Medical information should also include any emergency room visits or hospital admissions.  Additionally, you must provide your work history.  Social Security only asks for jobs you’ve done in the last 15 years. 

Getting approved for disability benefit by cooperating with Social Security

You need to cooperate with Social Security to be approved for disability benefit, should go to any medical appointments Social Security schedules.   You will have forms to complete.  These forms ask questions about your daily activities.  They also ask for additional information about your past work.  Often, Social Security will deny you if you don’t complete these forms. They will also deny you if you don’t go to any medical examinations.  Correspondingly, you want to give Social Security a clear description of your past work.  Social Security may deny your case if they don’t categorize your past work properly.  

Example 1: How to be approved for disability benefits

Imagine, George filed for disability benefits.  On his application, he listed his past work as a supervisor in a warehouse.  Social Security needed more information about his job duties.  Particularly, they needed to know if he hired or fired other employees.  George provided a detailed description of his job.  Social Security could properly categorize his past work.  Based on the additional information, Social Security approved George’s disability benefits. 

Maintain medical treatment

You must provide medical evidence to document any problems related to your medical conditions.  You must show that your symptoms cause a serious problem in your functioning.  Therefore, you should see your doctors regularly for all of your medical conditions.  You should also make sure to follow all of your doctor’s treatment recommendations.  This includes taking medications as prescribed.  It also includes attending all appointments.  Lastly, it can include following any lifestyle change recommendations. 

Getting approved for disability benefits with the right medical evidence

Generally, medical evidence includes your doctor’s treatment notes, test results and imaging.   As a rule, you should be in treatment with specialists.  Frequently, records kept by specialists record your symptoms and problems better than a primary doctor.  They focus on specific information that Social Security needs to approve your disability benefits.  This can include special tests or examinations.  It can also include your doctor’s opinion to explain how your conditions impact your functioning.  Typically, your doctor can provide an opinion with a residual functional capacity or RFC form. 

Example 2:  how to be approved for disability benefits

Namely, Ashley suffers from depression and low back pain.  She sees a psychiatrist and therapist regularly.  They document that Ashley’s depression continue despite regular therapy and medications.  She also sees an orthopedist for her back pain.  Her orthopedist ordered MRIs and x-rays of her back documenting degenerative disc disease.  Treatment notes also show serious problems with her range of motion.  Both doctors provide RFC forms showing Ashley’s depression and pain cause significant problems with her functioning.  Social Security reviews all of her evidence and finds that she can no longer work.  Ashley is approved for disability benefits. 

Follow up on the status of your disability claim

Checking on the status of your disability claim allows you to make sure Social Security handles your case properly.  It lets you know if Social Security doesn’t have important medical records.  You can confirm that they received your completed forms.   It also ensures that you don’t miss any important deadlines. 

File appeals

You may think filing a new claim can be better than appealing a denied claim.  Rather, you should appeal any denials.  Re-filing doesn’t help getting approved for benefits.   This only delays the appeals process. Social Security could deny you for the same reasons.  Your chances for getting disability benefits improve when you appeal any denials.  This can be especially true if you have to request a disability hearing.

Getting approved for disability benefits with a disability advocate

Hiring an experienced disability advocate can increase your chances of getting approved for disability benefits.  First, a disability advocate helps you with your disability application or appeal.  They can make sure that you provide all important information to Social Security. Second, your disability advocate explains the process.   They know what it takes to get a claim approved.  Lastly, they file any necessary appeals.  Working with a disability advocates gives you an advantage at the hearing level.  Your disability advocate prepares you for hearing.  They also review your file.  They help get any additional evidence that you may need to get approved for disability benefits.   

Disability Help Group:  Winning case study

To enumerate, Robert filed an application for disability benefits.  He was unable to work after he suffered a stroke.  Robert was denied for disability benefits.  Ultimately, he had to file a request for hearing.  Robert hired Disability Help Group (DHG) for assistance.  His DHG advocate reviewed his file.  Based on the medical records, she submitted a brief to the judge with reasons why Robert should be approved for disability benefits.  The judge agreed and approved Robert’s case. 

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How Can I Get TDIU?

How Can I Get TDIU?

Many veterans are unable to earn a living because of service-connected disabilities. Congress created a special benefit called TDIU to help these veterans live comfortably. Also known as Unemployability. TDIU pays the same monthly amount as a 100% disability rating.