When an applicant files a claim for Social Security disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers numerous factors in determining whether the applicant’s case should win. Given that only a small number of applicants are approved for Social Security disability benefits on the first try, it is smart for potential applicants to learn about the factors that can impact whether their disability case is decided favorably.
Your age, level of education, and work history
Generally, applicants who are under the age of 55, who have marketable work skills, and/or a high level of education are not likely to win their disability cases. This is because from the SSA’s point of view, young and more educated people with diverse work experience are better able to find a job in a different line of work.
There are disability cases involving younger applicants that are won at the hearing level when the applicant’s Social Security disability lawyer proves the applicant’s limitations make it impossible for them to go back to their past work or do any other type of work. This inability to perform any type of work is a significant factor in whether an applicant will win his or her disability case.
Providing detailed information
An important factor to the success of any applicant’s disability case is information. If an applicant wants to win Social Security disability benefits, he or she needs to provide detailed information about their medical treatment.
Contact information for medical providers– It is useful, even before applying for Social Security disability benefits, for applicants to write down the names, addresses, and phone numbers for each of their medical treatment sources. It is additionally helpful to write down dates of treatment for each medical provider, the medications each doctor prescribed, and the testing each doctor performed.
It is important to retain this information so that treatment providers are not forgotten, especially if the applicant wishes to file an appeal in the future. The SSA will not be able to accurately retrieve all of an applicant’s medical history unless the applicant provides information about all of their treatment sources.
Good medical records– Cases that tend to win Social Security disability benefits are usually well documented. Providing good medical records allows the SSA to fully examine your treatment and determine your eligibility for benefits.
Being able to provide good medical records implies that the applicant has been to see a doctor frequently. While many applicants are anxious to win Social Security disability benefits, some make claims when they haven’t been to a doctor in months. An applicant cannot have good medical records with sufficient documentation of his or her symptoms and limitations if he or she does not visit a doctor regularly.
Functional medical evidence
The SSA bases its decisions in disability cases on functional medical evidence, meaning reliable scientific evidence. While applicants may think statements from their employers or relatives may be useful for their applications, the SSA views these documents as essentially worthless.
The SSA wants to see reliable evidence such as statements from the applicant’s treating physician – an unbiased person with medical knowledge of the applicant’s condition. Statements from the treating physician that explain in detail why the applicant is disabled are the most useful. The doctor’s statement is the most important document an applicant has available to help win their disability case.
Your own gumption
It can be daunting knowing that most disability cases are denied Social Security benefits in the first steps of the application process. However, appealing these initial denials can significantly increase the chance that an applicant will win Social Security disability benefits in the end. As a result, one of the worst things an applicant can do is give up on their claim in the beginning of the process. Having the courage to continue through the appeals process is a huge factor in whether an applicant will ultimately win his or her disability case.
Are you a first time applicant for Social Security Disability Benefits or have you been denied benefits? Consider Attorney Neil H. Good for your representation. Contact our office online or call #(847) 577-4476 for a free case evaluation.