It can be quite a blow emotionally and financially when you realize that a physical malady prevents you from continuing to work. No matter how you tried to work around your condition, your illness or injury keeps getting in the way of you being able to complete your work duties.

At this point, you realize that you may need to stop working and focus on your health, but you wonder how you will support yourself and your family. Applying for Social Security Disability benefits may be the answer, but you heard from others that most applications are denied. Fortunately, you may be able to take steps to increase your chances of receiving benefits through either your application or an appeal of a denial.

These steps may help

Many people attempt to obtain SSD benefits on their own, but in reality, it takes a village. The following includes how others can help in your endeavor:

  • Your doctor: If your doctor agrees that you need to stop working, that assessment needs to be documented. Your doctor can submit forms regarding your disability when you apply and on an annual basis. However, it’s important that your doctor and his or her staff understand the requirements and how to deal with the paperwork. You will also need all of your medical records pertaining to your condition, including any medications or other treatments prescribed for it.
  • Other doctors: If you have seen any other doctors for your primary condition or any secondary conditions associated with it, obtain your medical records and any other documentation from them.
  • Family, friends and co-workers: If willing, the people in your personal and professional lives may provide help by preparing statements regarding how your condition disrupts and affects your life. They can attest to how your life changed due to your illness or injury. This can be particularly important if you end up having to file an appeal if the Social Security Administration denies your initial application.

When you receive your medical records, scrutinize them closely. The SSA is particularly sensitive to potential fraud, and any negative notations in your records could provide a basis for denial. If you find something in your records that does not support your position, discuss it with the doctor in question before submitting your documentation and application.

One more person may prove useful

Applying for SSD benefits can be an arduous, frustrating and complex process. The reality is that a large percentage of applications and appeals are denied. In addition to the above, involving an experienced attorney to help with your application and/or appeal could prove invaluable.