No matter how obvious it may be that you need SSDI benefits, it’s important to remember that you must prove to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that you are disabled. Unfortunately, many applications for benefits are denied simply because the documents submitted fail to prove the applicant’s disability. Proving your disability can be more cumbersome than it sounds. Still, a Tampa disability attorney can help you submit a successful claim so that you can get the benefits you need.
How the SSA Defines Disability
It may be helpful to start by first reviewing what the SSA considers to be a disability. A person will be considered disabled by the SSA if they meet the following criteria:
- They are unable to perform any “substantial gainful activity,” i.e., they are unable to perform at the prior job or any other job;
- Due to a medically recognized physical or mental impairment; and
- Their disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months.
Again, most people who apply for benefits meet this definition; they just fail to submit the necessary documentation. If you have questions concerning how this definition applies to you, a Tampa disability attorney can provide you with the guidance you need.
Gather Your Medical Records
When you apply for disability benefits, the SSA will want to see clear medical documentation of your disability. This means gathering records going back to when you became disabled or diagnosed with the condition that led to your disability. This can be difficult in some cases, specifically with disabilities due to mental impairment. Most importantly, you want to make sure your medical records present a complete picture that provides clear support for your claim. A Tampa disability attorney can work with you to gather and review your medical records if you need help.
Get a Formal Opinion from Your Physician
It can also be helpful to get a letter from your doctor that includes the following:
- Your diagnosis
- How it limits your ability to perform your prior job or any other employment
- How long the disability is expected to last or whether it is permanent
In some cases, it may be appropriate to seek an opinion from a specialist. A Tampa disability attorney can provide guidance as to whose opinion will carry the most significant weight.
Develop Your Non-Medical Evidence
At some point, you may also need non-medical evidence that supports your disability claim. To this end, you may want to consider keeping a journal that tracks your daily activities and how they are affected by your disability. You should also consider who may be able and willing to testify to your disability, such as friends, family members, or former colleagues. Lastly, you may need to consult with a vocational counselor who can provide a written statement about how your disability makes it impossible for you to perform any substantial employment.
Contact Tampa Disability Attorney Mike Murburg Today
Getting the disability benefits you need is more complicated than many people expect. If you have questions or need help filing your claim, contact us today at 877-SSI-ATTY to schedule a free consultation about your case.