Tips for Applying for Disability

Disability Application Tips

If you suffer from a severe physical or mental health disorder preventing you from working, you may qualify for benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program, Supplement Security Insurance (SSI) program, or other funds from the federal government designated for those who are too sick to work.

However, applying for disability benefits is not an easy process. Many individuals turn to an attorney for help applying for and receiving benefits. In order to ensure your chances of a quick and favorable outcome, here are some tips that can help you along the way:

Social Security Disability Tips
  • Document everything – Your claim for disability may be reviewed by several different people, and possibly a judge. It’s important to keep a record of everything from your first doctor’s visit to having all forms filled out when applying for disability.
  • Know what it doesn’t cover – Some applicants mistakenly think that certain conditions allow them to automatically qualify for disability. These include difficulty finding a job, getting a job that doesn’t pay enough, getting a job without health insurance, etc. Only a documented medical condition that prevents employment is grounds for receiving disability benefits under the SSDI/SSI programs.
  • Know what it does cover – While severe, life-altering diseases and conditions — such as Parkinson’s or paralysis — are common grounds for applying for disability, many other conditions are also accepted. These include chronic pain, mobility issues, mental health issues, digestive disorders, skin disorders and more.
  • Get your medical records – As with any legal issue, you must provide proof of the disease or condition. This includes test results, visits, diagnosis and treatments.
  • Follow prescribed treatment – If you have been diagnosed with a serious medical condition but do not follow the treatment plan laid out by your doctors, you may be ineligible to receive benefits.
  • Pay attention to detail – In addition to having medical evidence, you may be asked about the severity of your condition, such as details on the severity of your pain, what aggravates/decreases it, your level of mobility and more. Having accurate, consistent answers will help your case.
  • Understand restrictions – Even if you prove you have a medical condition and can describe it in detail, you must also provide an account of how it limits your ability to work. For example, you may be asked for how long you can walk, how much you can lift, how long you can sit or stand, and so on.
  • Don’t get discouragedMost Social Security Disability claims are denied initially. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue your claim and fight for your benefits. Statistically, more claims are approved on appeal than on the initial application.
  • Get a lawyer – No matter what circumstances surround your case, it’s important to have an attorney to help you fight for a positive result and obtain the maximum benefits possible.
Ritacco Disability Law

If you or someone you know in Pennsylvania needs help applying for disability, contact the law office of Lisa M. Ritacco for a free consultation. We may be able to help you fight for the results you deserve.