Posts Tagged ‘denied disability claims’

How to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

When I receive an initial telephone call from a potential Social Security disability client they often have not applied for disability benefits as they are not sure how to start the process or think they need an attorney to file the application for them. This blog will discuss how to apply for disability benefits and some pointers to help you apply for benefits.

The best way to apply for benefits is to do it online at ssa.gov which will take you step by step through the process. You can log on and off at your leisure until the application is complete then hit the submit button.

You will need basic information such as claimant’s full name, home address, telephone numbers, date of birth, Social Security Number, marital status, any dependents etc. Also will need information about work history and any medical conditions that is preventing you from working.

It is very important that you provide complete information regarding your medical treatment to include doctors name, name of the medical practice, address and telephone number so the Social Security Administration can obtain these medical records. If you do not fully disclose the medical information the SSA can not get the records.

Other ways to apply for Social Security disability benefits is to call the SSA at their toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 and they will schedule an appointment at your local SSA office to complete the application. Another way to apply is to go to the local SSA office as an unscheduled walk in but be prepared for a long wait.

Further list all medical and mental conditions even if they seem minor to you as sometimes a combination of medical conditions may prevent from working whereas any of the conditions singularly would not prevent you from working.

Also give some thought on the date you use as the date you became disabled which should be the date you were no longer able to work. Such dates may be the date you had to be hospitalized, or had surgery, or had to quit your job due to the inability to continue working due to medical conditions.

James W. Nuebel
Orlando Social Security Attorney

What Work History Questions Are Asked At The Social Security Disability Hearing?

Friday, June 7th, 2013

At the Social Security disability hearing either the judge or your attorney will ask you the following general questions regarding your work history such as-

Are you currently working?
Full-time or part-time?
When was the date you last worked?
What type of jobs have you worked in past 15 years?
For your most recent job-
Name of employer
Job title
Dates of employment
Job duties
Why did you leave that employment?

Some Social Security judges like to have the claimant testify in great detail about their past relevant work for the past 15 years while other judges will rely more on what’s already in the claimant’s Social Security file which has information on past jobs, earnings history, past employers, job duties etc.
For a Social Security disability claim the claimant has to prove not only that they can not perform their past relevant work due to severe and disabling medical conditions but also have to prove that they can not perform any other jobs based on their age, education, medical conditions, restrictions and limitations.
Generally an older and less educated claimant has a better chance of being found disabled than a younger and betted educated claimant. Of course, the most important factor in a Social Security disablity claim is to have severe and disabling medical conditions that prevent you from doing any work.

By James W. Nuebel
Orlando Social Security Disability Attorney

What Background Questions Are Asked at the Social Security Disability Hearing?

Friday, June 7th, 2013

At the Social Security disability hearing either the judge or your attorney will ask the following general questions regarding your background and biographical information such as –

Your name?
Your date of birth?
Your marital status?
Does your spouse work?
Do you have minor children?
Highest grade completed in school?
Ever serve in the military?
Your current source of income?
Do you have health insurance or Medicaid?
What is your height and weight?
Do you have a valid driver’s license?

These may seem like rather innocuous straight forward questions but your answers may have unintended consequences. For example if you testified that you have three children under age six at home that you take care of during the day the Social Security judge may consider this evidence that you do not have severe impairments that prevent you from working and use this as a basis in denying your claim. Or if you testify that you have health insurance but your medical records indicate that you did not seek much medical treatment for your medical onditions the judge may rule that your medical conditions are not severe and disabling enough to prevent you from working and deny your Social Security disability claim. However, for example, if applicable and truthful, you further explained to the judge that your mother in law lives a block away and helps with the children everyday and that you only had health insurance coverage the last three months then this puts the evidence in a better light and would be more favorable for the claimant.

By James W. Nuebel
Orlando Social Security Disability Attorney

Follow Your Doctors Treatment Plan When Filing for Social Security Disability

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

When filing for Social Security disability benefits it is very important to follow your doctors advice and treatment plan as your disability claim could be denied by the Social Security Administration for failure to do so. For instance if your medical records indicated that a treating doctor prescribed medications, physical therapy and injections for your back pain but you declined the recommended treatment you could be denied benefits for not following prescribed treatment. The Social Security judge deciding your claim may rule that you refused medical treatment which may have alleviated your back pain and allowed you to get back to work. If you did not have health insurance or money to pay for these treatments you may be able to convince a judge not to hold this against you.

By James W. Nuebel
Orlando Social Security Disability Attorney

Doctors and Social Security Disability Claims

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

When filing a Social Security disability claim make sure you discuss early in the process with your treating doctor(s) if they are willing to complete any Medical Source Statements (MSS) that your attorney may want the doctor to complete.

A Medical Source Statement is a form provided by your attorney to be completed by your doctor that has options the doctor can check off and write the basis for their opinions on your limitations and restrictions. For example, a MSS may have questions requesting how many continuous hours a claimant could stand in an eight hour workday or how many days the claimant would miss in a month or how much would the claimant be off task in a work day due to their medical conditions.

Sometimes a doctor will refuse to complete a MSS for the Social Security disability claimant and it is best to know upfront if your doctor will cooperate with you and your attorney in documenting the extent of your medical conditions.

By James W. Nuebel
Orlando Social Security Disability Attorney