Secrets really isn’t the right word to describe what this article is about. However, some of the issues we are going to discuss are not well known, even though they are important to winning SSD benefits. Therefore, perhaps you could call them secrets.
The following five “secrets” will help you file your application for benefits. Likewise, they may help you understand why the SSA has denied your benefits. Many people file for SSD and SSI benefits and they simply don’t have the evidence they need to win benefits. Similarly, even though people go to the doctor, they fail to tell the doctor about all of their symptoms. One of the secrets to winning benefits is understanding that the burden to prove you deserve benefits is on you.
If you have filed your application for benefits and received a denial in the mail, then it is time to hire an attorney. Of course, we recommend you hire an attorney when you first file your application. An attorney can help you file for SSD and SSI benefits and filling out the paperwork correctly in the beginning can be key to winning benefits.
Many attorneys refuse to help people file their application and will only take your case at a later point in the appeal process. We disagree. Hire an attorney when you realize you cannot return to work and need SSD benefits. Then, you don’t need to worry about learning the secrets to winning SSD benefits.
SECRET #1: OBTAIN THE SUPPORT OF YOUR DOCTOR
The SSA decides if you qualify for monthly SSD benefits by looking at your medical treatment. If you haven’t sought treatment for your condition or discussed symptoms with your doctor, then it looks bad to the SSA. If you aren’t treated by a doctor, then the SSA assumes your condition doesn’t effect you as much as you say it does.
The more medical evidence you have from your doctor, the higher your chances for approval of benefits. This is one SSA secret that makes all the difference. In other words, if you have no doctor who is treating you for your medical conditions, then you will not be awarded benefits. Therefore, if you cannot afford to see a doctor, contact the SSA and ask to see on of their doctors.
If you have mental health issues, then you can get treatment from a counselor. You can also see a nurse or doctor. They can give you medication. If you can’t afford private therapy, then there is group therapy. Finally, if you cannot afford medical care, there is a list of free and low cost health clinics on our website. Choose your state and call the free clinic for mental help:
When you file for SSD benefits, your doctor will submit your medical records. As long as your doctor supports your application for benefits, you should be able to obtain the medical records you need to prove to the SSA that you deserve benefits. Although it is not secret, medical records really are the key to winning SSD benefits.
SECRET #2: COMPLETE YOUR PAPERWORK RIGHT AWAY
Filing for SSD benefits involves a lot of paperwork. However, you cannot get benefits unless you first file an application for them. You can file your application online at the SSA’s website. Or, you can fill out a paper application.
Additionally, you can file an application over the phone or in person at your local Social Security office. If you file your application by phone or in person, then an SSA worker will ask you questions about your medical conditions and you work history. The Social Security Administration will obtain copies of your medical records to build your file.
Your local office will forward a copy of your file to a state office that examines all SSD and SSI claims. Next, your case will be assigned for review to an SSA worker who is a claims representative. The claims representative will review your medical records. Also, they might request information from your doctor. Additionally, the might send you to visit one of SSA’s doctors to get more information about your medical condition. Learn more about SSA’s doctors.
If you have an interview over the phone or in person, then you can ask for the name and contact information of the SSA worker who will be reading your file and making a decision in your case. You can always contact the claims representative and offer to send the medical information to them. If the SSA sends you any paperwork, like questions about your daily activities, then you should fill it out as soon as possible. Failing to fill out the paperwork will delay a decision in your case.
SECRET #3: CAN YOU GET EXPEDITED REVIEW?
Some SSD applications can get a faster review. For example, if you are a Veteran, then you qualify for a faster review. However, you need to let the SSA know that you are a Veteran.
If you are a Veteran and qualify through for 100% service connected VA disability benefits, then you should get a quick review in your SSD case. SSD benefits through the VA and disability benefits through the SSA require separate applications. But, an award from the VA helps you in SSD cases.
If you have a medical condition that is so severe it obviously meets the SSA’s definition of disability, then you can get a compassionate allowance. This allows you to start getting benefits quickly. However, your medical condition must be on a list of conditions that qualify for compassionate allowances. For example, the following are some of the conditions that qualify:
Adult non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Cancer of the gallbladder
Inoperable kidney cancer
On the list for a heart transplant
There are many other special medical allowances and you can review them. However, you must remember that these medical conditions are rare and are often fatal. If you have a rare severe medical condition, then you might qualify for faster review of your case.
SECRET #4: DON’T APPLY FOR SSD BENEFITS AND THEN TRY TO WORK
If you try to work after you apply for benefits, then the SSA will find that your medical condition is not severe. Therefore, they will deny your SSD benefits. Likewise, if you are working 40 hours a week, the SSA won’t even let you file an application for benefits. Because SSD benefits are for people who cannot work at any job. If you are working, then you don’t qualify for SSD or SSI benefits.
In order to win SSD and SSI benefits, you must prove that your medical condition is so severe that it prevents you from working. Also, your medical condition must prevent you from working for over 12 months. Therefore, if you file for SSD benefits the day you stop working, the SSA will review your case, but they will probably find you do not qualify for benefits. Why?
In addition to having a severe medical condition, it must be a condition that will last for a long time (more than 12 months). Sometimes, people stop working because of their severe medical issues. However, how have to prove that was the reason you stopped working. You can show this with a letter from your employer. You can also show this because you were put on short term or long term disability benefits.
If you have work records that show why you were fired or show your past employer giving you special help at work, then have your attorney submit it to the SSA. Most people don’t know that you can submit this type of evidence to the SSA. However, your attorney will know what kinds of evidence can help you win your case. Lawyers often know special issues or secrets, that can help the SSA grant your case.
SECRET #5: YOU MUST HAVE 40 WORK CREDITS BEFORE YOU CAN FILE FOR SSD BENEFITS.
In order to qualify for SSD benefits, you must already have 40 Social Security work credits and paid FICA taxes for the last five to 10 before you file for benefits. Since this is something most people don’t understand, it qualifies a secret.
If you do not have enough quarters of coverage, then you will receive a denial of your benefits in the mail. The burden to make sure that all of your earnings are reported to the SSA is on you. Some people work, but their employer does not withhold Social Security taxes from your work check. Unfortunately, if that happens, then it is your responsibility to report that to the SSA.
Some people have the work credits to file for benefits, but they are already getting retirement benefits from the SSA. You can retire at any age between 62 and 67. Sixty-seven is, for most people, full retirement age. If you have already reached full retirement age, then you will get Social Security retirement benefits instead of SSDI benefits.
So many people in their 70’s or 80’s contact our firm and ask, because their medical condition is worse, can they get more money. If this is you, then the answer is “no.” SSD benefits do not go up over time. They are based on how much money you made when you were working. Also, once you retire, you no longer qualify for SSD benefits. Here’s an SSA chart to help you find when you will reach your full retirement age.
HIRE US TO HELP YOU WIN YOUR SSD BENEFITS
Approximately 90% of all SSD claims are denied after the first application. Which is another terrible secret that most people don’t know. However, another secret you may not know is that is that hiring an attorney to help you with your SSD case can make it three times more likely that you will win benefits.
A lawyer with experience in SSD law will be able to help you file your SSDI and SSI application. Also, your lawyer can submit medical evidence to the SSA. A lawyer will also make sure that you do not miss the 60 day time frame for appeal. That way, you can focus on your health and spending time with your family. Our attorneys and staff can:
If you file your application for benefits online at Social Security’s website, then you have 6 months to complete the application. Once you submit your application online, the SSA sends you an application summary in the mail. You must sign the summary and mail it back.
OUR LAW FIRM CAN HELP YOU WIN YOUR SSD BENEFITS
In the past 30 years, we have won millions of dollars in ongoing and past due benefits for our clients. If you want to win SSD benefits, then you need to hire an attorney with the experience to win your case. Also, you need a lawyer to show the SSA that they should pay you SSD benefits. We can do that. Contact us today.
If you want to learn more about our lawyers and staff, then read our About Us page. For instance, Andria Summers is can help you choose the best Medicare Advantage plan. She has also won thousands of SSDI cases. Dianna Cannon has been helping SSD and SSI clients win benefits for more than thirty years. Brett Bunkall also has years of legal experience helping people obtain their SSI and SSD benefits. We are experts. You can trust us to help you win SSD and SSI benefits.
In the past 30 years, we have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI cases for our clients. Also, we help our clients with their Medicare benefits. Our lawyers and staff can help you apply for benefits using the SSA’s website.
Likewise, there are also many forms you will need to fill out. But, don’t worry. If you have questions about these forms, then we will answer them. You can learn more about SSA’s appeal forms. Call us for a free review of your case today. Contact us now about your SSDI benefits application. We can help you win Social Security benefits. Hiring the right attorney is the best secret of them all.
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