The other day I had a client call in. She was worried about her disability hearing because she doesn’t “look” disabled. She thought her outward appearance would be what the judge would use to determine if she is eligible for benefits. Luckily, this is not the case. By the time you go to your hearing, Social Security will have compiled a file on you. This file includes all the evidence available to prove your disability. If you have a disability attorney they will submit this evidence for you. If you do not have a disability lawyer you will need to gather and submit this evidence on your own.
What Evidence Do I Need for My Disability Claim?
Social Security will look at a number of different sources to determine if you are medically disabled or not. If you do not have a Social Security lawyer it is prudent to begin gathering this information yourself. This way you will have this information ready before you file your application. For your disability claim you will need:
You will need to put together a statement explaining how your disabilities are limiting or preventing your ability to work. It will be important to include the date your condition/injury began. This date is the date Social Security will use to determine benefits. Make sure you are not just listing what is making you disabled, but also how those conditions are affecting you.
You will need all your medical records from the day you were unable to work to present. Medical records are the most important piece of information Social Security needs to determine if you are eligible. If you have a disability lawyer they will likely gather these records for you. For our clients, we recommend keeping a list of all the doctors and hospitals you have seen since becoming disabled. If you do not have a disability attorney you will likely need to gather these yourself. Often there is a fee associated with obtaining these records. Call your doctor’s office to see what you need to do to get these records. When you have them make sure you submit them to Social Security.
Activities of Daily Living Questionnaire
SSA will ask you to complete a questionnaire explaining how your disabilities are impacting your activities of daily living (ADL’s). These activities may include :
- Household chores
- Personal care and hygiene
- Your ability to drive and walk
- Ability to run household errands such as grocery shopping
- Your ability to sit or stand for extended periods of time
When filling out this questionnaire it is important to stay honest. If Social Security believes you are embellishing your limitations or are dishonest in any way it may become extremely difficult to be approved for disability benefits.
Social Security is going to want to know your work history over the past 15 years. This will give them an idea about how your limitations make it difficult or impossible to do the type of work you had done in the past.
Often Social Security will send you to see one of their doctors. These doctors will evaluate either your physical or mental conditions. They will then advise Social Security whether or not they believe these conditions will hinder your ability to work.
How Can I Get Help With My Disability Claim?
Filing for disability benefits can be overwhelming especially if you have a condition that is taking up much of your time and abilities. Hiring an experienced Utah Disability Attorney will greatly improve your odds of being approved for disability benefits. Our experienced disability lawyers will take your claim from A to Z to give you peace of mind that everything is being handled correctly. When it comes time for your hearing we will have one of our attorneys with you at your hearing to advocate on your behalf. We charge $0 up front and will only take a fee if we are able to get you benefits. Call today for your free evaluation.