What can I do to improve my chances for a Social Security Disability approval?
By Kay Derochie / March 3, 2016 / Applying for Social Security Disability & SSI Benefits / 32 Comments
See how to improve your chances for a Social Security Disability approval. Learn the information to gather and the actions to take while your claim pends.
List All the Conditions That Contribute To Your Disability
There are several things you can do to improve the chances for receiving a Social Security Disability approval. First, be sure to list all medical problems you have, regardless of how severe they are or when they began. Include old injuries if you have any ongoing limitations related to the injury. It’s easy to forget limitations that we’ve had for a long time, because we’ve learned to live with them. Sometimes old limitations combined with new problems result in a disability approval. More details about filing for disability can be found in our article How Do I File an Application for Social Security Disability Benefits?
Be Realistic and Honest in Your Disability Claim
When completing your disability forms and talking with Social Security, it is helpful to be realistic and forthright about what you cannot do, and also about what you can do, given your condition. Be sure to avoid exaggeration. Also, at doctors’ appointments avoid telling your doctor courteously that you feel “fine” or “okay” when you do not. Be sure that your doctors know when you have medical or psychological problems that are being treated by another practitioner. Additionally, it is important to follow your physician’s guidance, including attending requested appointments and getting your prescriptions filled on time.
Be Responsive to the Social Security Disability Application Process
Another way to help your claim is to answer questions as directly and clearly as possible and to promptly respond to any written or telephone requests for additional information. If there is an unavoidable delay, let the claims examiner know that you are working on it. When answering questions, limit your answer to the specific question that was asked. If asked to go to a consultative examination with a doctor whom Social Security selects, be sure to attend and participate cooperatively.
Communicate with Your Doctors
Your chances of disability approval may also be improved if your doctors understand what Social Security expects of them. Your claims examiner will ask your treating physicians to give Social Security a report about your diagnosis, your limitations, and your capabilities. It is important that your doctor complete the report, not just with accurate information, but also in the manner requested. Some claims are denied because the treating physician doesn’t respond or doesn’t provide an adequate report. To avoid a delay caused by the need for a consultative examination, be sure that you give Social Security all the information you have about your medical conditions, and that they receive all the medical records and reports that they request from your physicians.
How Attorneys for Social Security Can Help
A Social Security lawyer can be invaluable because he or she is experienced in explaining the Social Security disability claim process to physicians and can follow-up for you on outstanding requests, helping you to get disability approval.