Thursday, September 04, 2008

I am clearly disabled for SSDI why was I denied?

What factors other than your medical condition and how it limits you affect whether or not you win your Social Security disability case? Some people make the wrong assumption that because they have a disability and medical evidence to prove it that this automatically means they will win their Social Security disability benefits. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The person who decide your case at Social Security can be as important as the disability and evidence itself. This may not be fair, but it is humans who ultimately decide whether or not you win or lose your social security disability claim. Some of these decision makers are favorable to claimants and others are not. You have no control over who decide your case. So you might be wondering, why I even mention this if you have no control over it? The reason I mention it is to keep you from being discouraged if you get an unfavorable decision. Social security has an extensive appeal process. So, even if you are denied you will have many additional opportunities to win your claim. If you know you are disabled and have the evidence to prove it then you should keep appealing. Each new appeal will be decided by a different person and your luck may change. Now I cannot say that some people who are clearly disabled have not lost all their appeals. However, chances are if you are disabled and have the evidence that shows you are disabled you will eventually have a good chance to win your claim. You should not ignore the fact that you have been denied you should look at it as a wake-up call to take additional steps to give yourself the best chance to win on appeal. If you have been denied and you do not have a lawyer you should definitely consider getting one at this point. The reason I say this is because even though you have other appeals you do not want to waste these opportunities to win. As I've mentioned earlier, it may just be the person deciding your claim but it could also be something you are missing. If you are denied you may also want to ask yourself whether you know what you have to prove to win your case. You must understand how the decision-maker at Social Security determines if you are disabled. If you know the process the decision maker goes through to determine if you are disabled you may learn what you have been missing about your particular case. You can then take steps to improve your claim.

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.