Steps to Get SSDI the First Time Around

Written By Steps To Faculty Published August 23rd, 2010

It has been reported that most Social Security disability claims are denied on the first attempt. While it may be easy to say that the Social Security Administration simply denies all initial claims because of the high rate of denied applications, this is simply not true. There are steps a genuinely disabled person can take to ensure their application for disability benefits is approved on the first try. Follow these 6 tips to get SSDI the first time around and greatly increase your odds of having your application approved.

Step 1. Have a genuine qualifying disability.

Research the generous amounts of information available on the Social Security Administration’s website and other materials. Before applying for disability, make sure that you meet the criteria. Generally, your disability must be expected to last for a minimum of one year and require ongoing medical care.

Step 2. Document your diagnosis and treatment.

The more information you can give to Social Security with your initial application, the better your chances of approval. Make sure you have all the contact information for every doctor, lab, or hospital that has been involved in your diagnosis and treatment.

Step 3. Get regular medical care for your condition.

Even if you lose medical coverage, it is advisable that you see a healthcare professional for your condition at least once every two months. If cost is a concern, look for free clinics, health departments, or other reduced cost healthcare options. While these may not be the best facilities to care for your condition, it demonstrates medical need and ongoing treatment.

Step 4. Provide all necessary and requested information.

Now is not the time to protect your privacy or worry over what information they have a right to request. In short, when determining eligibility for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration needs all of your medical history to make a determination. That may include medical records for several years prior to your diagnosis.

Step 5. Follow up in a timely manner.

Follow up with your contact person at Social Security to ensure all requested records have been sent and respond accordingly to any additional requests for information.

Step 6. If need be, get records yourself.

While Social Security may request your medical records from doctors, clinics, health departments, hospitals, or anywhere else you have received treatment, that does not mean these offices will respond in a timely manner. Be willing to go to your doctor or the hospital to request a copy of your records and deliver it to Social Security yourself, if need be.

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