If you have suffered an injury or illness that has left you disabled, and unable to work, you might be relying on disability payments. If you have not already heard, many people are initially denied disability payments. This can be extremely discouraging, but not all hope is lost. As a disability lawyer might explain to you, over 70 percent of all applicants will be denied disability benefits after initially applying.
Due to the high risk of being denied, it can be beneficial to having a disability lawyer helping you with the process from the very beginning. A lawyer can ensure:
- You have gathered the right documents
- Your medical records state the necessary information
- You have completed the forms accurately
- You have completed the interview process
In addition to the above, a lawyer for disability payments can verify that your disability is listed in the blue book. In other words, the Social Security Administration does not recognize all disabilities. Even if your doctor has said you are disabled, the SSA must recognize the disability; otherwise, you will be unable to get benefits.
For example, if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, but is not aggressive, you might not meet the blue book requirements. In this case, if you completed an application and the SSA feels unsatisfied with the information provided, you might be asked to participate in a residual functional capacity test. This is an individualized analysis that assesses your illness or injury and how it affects your ability to work. The analysis includes:
- A review of your symptoms
- How your symptoms affect your ability to do things
- Your current medical care
- Your expected treatment and prognosis
- What your limitations for doing things are
In general, you should provide as much evidence as possible in your initial application to avoid this tedious, time consuming process. It is very important you pay attention to what is being asked of you. Having a doctor provide a written statement that discusses your diagnosis and inability to work can be very advantageous. This statement should include details like:
- The progression of the illness or injury
- Your symptoms and how they are affecting you
- The precise area or location of the injury or disease
- What treatments have been used and their outcomes
- Prediction for prospective treatments and their outcomes
- Test results, imaging scans, lab work
- Hospital admission records
- How your day-to-day activities have been affected
Even if you are denied on your first application, you can appeal your case. As mentioned above, most applicants are initially denied – including those who are legitimately disabled and have a strong case. Most cases are denied because the application was incorrectly filled out or there was a lack of evidence.
It is very important that your doctor has clearly stated that your injury or illness prevents you from working. Furthermore, you must follow the recommended treatment plan. If these two factors are not true for your case, you will likely be denied.
The Social Security Administration will give you 60 days to file an appeal. If you take this step, your case will go through a reconsideration stage. Even at this point, 85% of claims will be denied. If this happens, you can request an appeals hearing. This point in the process represents the best chance of getting disability benefits. You should not go to a hearing without an Abingdon, VA disability lawyer, like from The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, at your side.