Even when you have a strong case for being granted Social Security Disability benefits, the odds are stacked against you. From 2004 to 2013, the Social Security Administration approved just 36 percent of claims, according to CNBC.
If SSA denies your initial application, you can appeal. A Social Security Disability attorney can boost your chances of prevailing on appeal. But maximizing your chances of getting approved the first time will save you time and get you your rightful benefits sooner.
One of the most important things you can do is provide as much as your medical records as possible. The more complete of a picture of your disabling illness or condition you can provide to SSA, the better. Complete records will show how serious your condition is, how it impacts your ability to work and that you have been receiving regular medical treatment. Your doctor can provide additional help by filling out a residual functional capacity form, which provides details of your current limitations and your prognosis.
Another thing SSA looks at is whether the applicant is currently earning an income. For 2016, the agency disqualifies anyone earning more than $1,130 per month. This can create something of a catch-22: few people can afford to stop working for very long, but continuing to work can scuttle your SSD application so that you can stop working. Even collecting unemployment can complicate your case, though not always.
Finally, it is important to remember that you only have a short time to appeal a rejected claim, so don’t wait too long to speak to an SSD attorney.