After suffering a disabling injury or illness, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits can provide the financial relief you need. However, the process to receive these benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) can be complex and frustrating.
One of the most important components of your SSDI application is the submission of medical proof or evidence. This evidence should support the history of your disabling condition, detailing the start of the condition, treatment sought, the severity of your condition and more. Here are five do’s and don’ts to stick to:
Don’t: Delay getting started
While gathering the extensive evidence necessary for your claim may be the last thing you feel up to, getting started as early as possible can be critical. It may take longer than you think to collect the medical evidence from all applicable health facilities. Additionally, the process to learn the fate of your claim can take up to five months or more.
Do: Ask others for help
Gathering well-rounded medical evidence for your disabling condition can be challenging. The SSA specifically looks for evidence that supports the start of your condition, which can be difficult to trace for certain conditions. Ask others for help in pinpointing the time-frame of your condition, including family, friends, medical providers and in some cases, your employer.
Do: Collect evidence from all applicable doctors, hospitals and more
Your medical proof should include your medical history, records, diagnoses, treatments, work limitations and more submitted by your medical professionals. This should include your treating physician and any specialists or other medical professionals involved in your treatment. The SSA considers those involved in your care or treatment for as long as possible as the strongest sources.
Don’t: Rely solely on evidence submitted by medical professionals
Another important piece in proving the severity of your condition can also come from your own words. Keeping a journal with dated entries detailing your symptoms, treatments, limitations, side effects and more can help to enhance your claim.
Don’t: Despair if your claim is denied
You may still have options to collect the benefits you need. The SSA denies many legitimate first-time claims, with many reasons relating to insubstantial medical evidence. Work with an attorney to learn how to appeal your claim in a timely manner and collect the conclusive, thorough medical proof you need to seek the approval of your claim.