Improve Your Claim

It is important that your initial claim is prepared carefully.

  • In order to avoid a long gap between making your claim for Social Security Disability and receiving benefits, it is important that your initial claim is prepared carefully. There is a lot that you can do to help yourself both in terms of your medical record and your application for disability benefits.
  • You must have a medical record showing that you have a disabling condition. You need to go to your physician regularly and you need to be clear with your doctor about the symptoms you suffer because of your disability. You need to talk with your doctor about limitations you are experiencing, whether it is your ability to stand and walk, weight you can lift, or problems with memory and sustaining concentration. Give examples. Ask for diagnostic testing. Even if your condition is stable and is resistant to treatment, you must continue to see your doctor consistently and discuss your symptoms.
  • As part of the application process, you will be asked to complete self-evaluations. When you are completing a Function Report and you are asked questions about what you are capable of doing, you must include information about the limitations you experience because of your disability. If you have to sit in the shower or cannot raise your hands over your head long enough to wash your hair, that information needs to be in your self-assessment. If you can do your own household chores, you also need to include information about special steps you must take or how often you must take breaks and how much longer it takes now than it used to take because of your disability. If you state you can do the dishes, but you do not include limitations you have doing them such as using a stool or having to take breaks, the social security administration will assume you can do them while standing without any breaks. You should always be honest about your abilities and limitations.

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