While Social Security benefits are guaranteed to eligible workers, Social Security disability benefits are not. In fact, Social Security disability benefits can be difficult to receive. Only 32% of applicants in 2016 were awarded benefits.
Because the Social Security Administration has such stringent requirements for awarding disability benefits, it’s critical that you’re fully prepared heading into your hearing. Taking the following actions can help you increase the chances of getting the benefits you deserve.
Get support from your doctor
Having support from your doctor can go a long way to strengthening your disability claim. Bringing a detailed letter from your doctor can have an impact in your favor. The letter should outline your physical limitations and the medical evidence that proves you’re suffering from those conditions.
You should note it’s better if the note comes from an MD. Submitting a note from a naturopathic doctor could hurt your case more than it helps it.
Bring copies of your medical records
When looking at past cases, one of the primary reasons people fail to receive benefits is due to a lack of detail about their disability. A note from your doctor helps, but you’ll also want to bring your medical records, too.
Bring records from the onset date (the date when you developed the disability) until the present day. This helps demonstrate the treatment options you’ve pursued and better confirms that the condition continues to limit your ability to work.
Demonstrate your reduced ability to work
One of the keys to being successful during a Social Security disability hearing isn’t necessarily being able to claim that you’re suffering from a symptom. What’s more important is demonstrating that it’s impacting your ability to work.
Having a vocational expert submit an opinion of your disability can help you prove to the judge your limits in the workplace. Bringing additional statements from family members and coworkers can further strengthen your disability claims.
Being fully prepared for your hearing is one of the best ways that you can do to increase your odds of being successful during your disability hearing. If your claim is rejected, know that there are still steps you can take to receive benefits in the future.