There is no denying that filing an SSD application is a stress-filled experience. A lot of things can go wrong if you don’t follow the right steps, and considering that most applicants get rejected, there is a high chance that your application might be denied as well if you don’t follow the right steps. To avoid any mistakes, this is what you’ll need to do.
The very first step you should take is to file for a claim. You must ensure that your claim contains all the information related to your disability. This can include medical records, your doctor’s statements, and any other testing results that provide evidence of your disability. The more detailed your initial claim is the higher chances of winning you’ll have and the more money you can receive from your claim. Of course, not everyone is familiar with the process of filing for a claim. For that reason, you may want to search for a disability lawyer to help you through the details.
Collect sufficient evidence
The next step is to collect as much evidence as you can to support your case. This step might take some time, as you will have to retrieve your medical records as well as any documents relevant to the case. However, the earlier you start compiling evidence, the more peace of mind you’ll get at the end of the case. You must also have a doctor’s statement supporting your case; this will increase your chances of winning significantly. To further support your case, the Honolulu-based experts at laportelawfirm.com/our-locations/honolulu/ advise all applicants to have witnesses present at hearings to provide more proof of your claim. If that’s not possible, a written statement by your former employers will suffice. Note that some evidence will prove irretrievable unless you have a trusty lawyer to help you out. Disability lawyers are well experienced when it comes to collecting evidence related to SSD cases. For example, they might get a doctor’s statement if your doctor refuses to speak with you.
Validate all legal documents
If there is any evidence you’ve missed the first time, now is the time to collect it. With the help of your representative lawyer, you’ll be able to tell what type of medical evidence you’re missing and work on getting it before you submit your application to the SSA. This step is important, as it will save you a world of stress and worry later at your hearing. When you have solid evidence supporting your case, you needn’t worry about anything else. In fact, your case will go through in no time. Make sure that the evidence you provide matches your claim, as this is generally considered the number one rule to winning a disability claim.
Get in contact with an experienced lawyer
The importance of hiring a lawyer can never be stressed enough. Even if you are familiar with the process of a disability claim, a seasoned lawyer will always know the right steps to take at the right time. A disability lawyer will be able to help you both with the application and the appeal process.
They should also be able to give you a proper legal representation when it comes to addressing the bad facts in your medical records (such as a doctor stating that you’re exaggerating the symptoms) and providing counter-arguments for the vocational expert’s testimony. In addition to that, judges will deal with you on strictly legal terms, so you must have a lawyer with you during the hearing to guide you through it.
Sometimes legal analysis can become exceedingly complicated to the point of appealing to the federal court. While it isn’t usual for this to occur, you must be prepared for all possible scenarios to avoid any potential stress-inducing situations. When cases are appealed to the federal court, they need rigorous legal analysis and brief writing. These briefs are not usually prepared by the claimants, so you have to hire an attorney to prepare them for you. However, you have to make sure that your attorney is qualified enough for these briefings. This means that they must know how to write briefs for the federal court.
Now that you know the steps of filing an SSD application, you can increase your chances of winning the case, and get some peace of mind back. While you still need to collect evidence, write a thorough application, and validate your legal documents, you’ll be saving a lot of effort both for you and your lawyer in the future if you follow the above steps to the T. Not having enough evidence might force your lawyer to devise counter-arguments on the spot, which may not always end up in your favour, so make sure you have all the proof you need to build a strong case.
Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.