Applying for disability can be a lengthy process that often results in getting denied. While there is no magic way to guarantee you will be granted disability, there are ways to help improve your chances when you apply.
- Don’t wait until the last minute. If something occurred that caused your disability, don’t wait for months or years to apply for help. The system may see your condition as one that isn’t quite so serious if you have waited an extended amount of time to apply for help.
- Don’t leave out any details. You will have to fill out a lot of paperwork and provide documentation. Make sure everything is honest and everything is answered/filled out. Don’t skip over any questions or fail to submit any documents necessary for application. You’ll need forms completed by your doctor that help proves you are disabled; make sure you have copies of these.
- Visit your doctor as often as needed. The more visits you make, the more evidence you will have for your claim.
- Listen to your doctor. Take all prescribed medications as directed, attend all therapies, and maintain all health and wellness regimens related to your condition. Keep records of prescription refills, have your therapy nurse sign a check-in form, etc. This will show that you are doing all that you can to help improve the current quality of your life.
- Remain professional despite the pain. This can be challenging, but try to remain respectful and patient with those who are helping with your case. Arrive at your case early, dress appropriately, control your tone, shut off your phone, and refer to the judge as “your honor.”
- Always tell the truth. Don’t over-exaggerate your symptoms and don’t underplay your symptoms. Be honest about your current condition and how it has affected your life.
- Stick to what is related to the case. Don’t bring up your history of drug or alcohol abuse, your criminal record, etc. Don’t overshare; stick to information that is relevant to your case.
- Hire a disability advocate. He or she can help increase the chances of your claim being approved. They know the policies and procedures, and they can help you collect documentation, fill out paperwork, present your case, etc. If you are appealing, acting as your own representative often backfires. A disability attorney, however, can help you prepare and present your case the way that it should be, increasing your chances of winning.