- How to apply for Social Security Disability Benefits
You should apply for disability benefits as soon as you become disabled. Applications for these benefits can be made: 1) through our law firm by calling 215-886-0398; 2) by calling Social Security’s toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213; or 3) via Social Security’s website, www.ssa.gov.
- Tips for your disability application
- Be thorough. When you complete your disability application, be sure to mention all of your health problems, not just the one that is most severe. This is because in evaluating your case, Social Security will look at all of your health problems together. Be honest about the severity of your symptoms. Avoid the temptation to minimize them. Also be sure to include in your application the names, addresses and phone numbers of all of the doctors and hospitals where you have been treated. When asked about your daily activities, be sure to describe them the way you are able to perform them on your bad days, not the way you wish you could perform them or performed them before your medical problems became severe. The key point is to make your application comprehensive and detailed. You want the reader to get an accurate picture of why you are no longer able to work.
- Involve your doctors. Social Security will always contact your doctors as part of the disability review process. At a minimum, they will ask your doctors to supply them with copies of your treatment records and test results. Sometimes they will ask your doctor to complete a short medical assessment form. The cooperation and support of your treating doctors is critical to the success of your disability case. You should discuss your intent to apply for disability benefits with your doctors either before you apply or as soon as possible thereafter. Ask each doctor to confirm his or her support for your disability application and his or her willingness to provide the medical records and medical assessments that may be necessary to support your application. If any of your doctors would be willing to write a “custom” letter to the state agency in support of your application, they should be encouraged to do so. The letter should emphasize abnormal test results, clinical findings and your functional limitations.
III. Do I need an attorney to represent me in my disability case?
Attorney representation is an option at any level of the disability application process. In general, the sooner you engage an attorney the better prepared your case will be and therefore the better your chances for success. If you or someone you know has any questions about disability benefits, call the Disability and Injury Law Offices of David R. Machek for a free consultation at: 215-886-0398 or email us at: [email protected] Our law firm focuses its practice exclusively on Social Security and SSI disability matters.