Sunday, August 31, 2008

Social Security Disability Check List

In this post, I will provide a small checklist for those trying to get their Social Security disability benefits. I hope that this will help some of you make sure that you have done some of the basic things that can help you win your benefits.

Did you collect and send in all your medical evidence? You should not rely on Social Security to get all your medical information. You should do whatever you have to do to make sure all of your relevant medical evidence is in your file for Social Security to review when deciding your claim. You can call Social Security to see what medical information they were able to get. You can also check with your doctor to see if your records were sent to Social Security.

Do you have opinion evidence from your treating doctors? This can be in the form of a report detailing your medical condition and how it limits you. You can also have your treating doctor fill out an RFC form. Without opinion evidence from your treating doctors in the file you will have to rely on what Social Security's doctors say your limitations are from your medical conditions. Your treating doctors are supposed to be given more weight than the opinions of the Social Security doctors so it is highly recommended that you get this opinion evidence from your doctors.

Do you understand what you have to prove to win your case? If you do not know what you have to prove to win your particular case you should research Social Security disability law as much as you can. You may also want to consider hiring a lawyer to help you with your claim.

Did you respond to all the letters you got from Social Security? If you received a letter from Social Security requesting specific information you should make sure you provide Social Security the information they are looking for. Read every letter you get from Social Security. You would be surprised at how many cases are held up or denied because claimants did not respond to a letter sent by Social Security looking for certain information.

Did you appeal your denial? You should make sure to appeal any denial you get within the time frame you are allowed. Most appeals must be filed within 60 days.

The above checklist is very basic and too many of you might seem like common sense but sometimes a simple reminder like this can help you realize you need to stay involved in your claim. I hope this information is helpful and wish you luck.