You’ve suffered an injury or developed a chronic condition that prevents you from working, so you did the only rational thing: You filed for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
Now, you sit and wait. In fact, you can expect to wait between three and five months (on average) to get a decision. Far too often, that decision is a denial – and that throws claimants down the path toward what can feel like an endless journey of appeals.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do that will increase the odds of approval the first time around. These include:
1. Gather as much of your medical information as possible
You don’t have to have any of your medical records on hand to file a claim – but it may be wise. If you have compelling medical evidence of your disability, including copies of your records with your application can shorten your wait time and encourage a favorable decision. Often, claims are denied simply because medical providers don’t return needed materials.
2. Continue seeing your doctors and following their orders
Documentation is your friend where SSD is concerned. The more you visit your doctors searching for relief, the more veracity your claim will have. This can be particularly important if your condition is something that causes you a lot of pain or you have symptoms that are hard to quantify. In the SSD examiner’s mind, your persistence indicates that you have a real problem.
3. Make yourself available for phone calls and consultative exams
You may be contacted for additional information by phone or mail – and you could be sent to a consultative exam if the SSD examiner is having difficulty with your claim. Staying on top of the requests and staying in touch can prevent a hasty (and wrong) decision.
If your Social Security Disability claim isn’t going as well as you had hoped, find out what it takes to get your claim approved. Legal help can make the process easier.