1. Provide accurate and complete information about your medical status and work history.
Medical and work history information is the heart of your benefits application. Make sure to track down records of all diagnoses, treatment and other medical care you have received. Provide all contact information for medical professionals who have seen you.
The disability claims examiners must match your medical condition with your ability to work for a living or to be trained to work in a new field. Make sure you include a record of all jobs you have held, employer information and descriptions of your work duties.
2. Show you do not earn a living beyond SSD program guidelines.
Your medical condition may allow you to do some work. However, you will not be considered “disabled” by the Social Security Administration (SSA) if you earn more than a defined maximum income. (For 2013, this income was at $1,040 a month, or $1,740 if you are blind.) If you are working, you must present work records that prove you do not earn beyond the maximum.
3. Demonstrate that you have a medical disability.
You must present evidence that your medical condition significantly limits your ability to do basic work activities. Walking, sitting and remembering are examples. You must also show that your condition has or is expected to last for at least one year (or result in death).
Ask your treating physician to perform a Physical Residual Functional Capacity Assessment (RFC). The physician must complete the RFC form. You must include this form in your benefits application. If your doctor is not familiar with RFC assessments and forms, an attorney can contact the doctor and explain the process.
4. Cooperate with the SSD claims examiners.
Once you have submitted your benefits application, you may receive requests to provide additional records or to clarify information in your file. Respond to these requests promptly.
You may also be asked to undergo a medical examination by a doctor chosen by claim examiners in the North Carolina Disability Determination Services (DDS) office. This is known as a “consultative medical exam.” You must comply with this request. If you don’t, your claim will not move forward.
5. Keep up with your claim.
If you do not hear from DDS examiners or someone from your local Social Security office, contact them and check on the status of your claim. You can simply ask whether everything is on track. You can also check to see whether they require any additional information.
6. Get experienced help with your SSD benefits application.
It’s always smart to get help from someone who has done it before.
The attorneys of Hardison & Cochran have a long record of helping North Carolina residents to obtain SSD benefits and to overcome obstacles they encounter in the process. We can review your application and help you to identify mistakes or omissions that could impact your claim.
If your claim is denied, we can help you to pursue appeals. We will stay as determined as you are and pursue the benefits you need and deserve.
For a free consultation, call or contact us online today.
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• Benefits Application, Social Security Administration