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TIPS IN APPLYING FOR SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY AND SSI

You already know that applying for Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income Benefits (SSI) can be a daunting task. Here are some tips to make the application process easier:

  1. Make a list of all the providers you have seen for your various impairments. If they are at the same facility, you don’t need to list everyone at that facility. Include the address, phone, and years seen.
  2. Make a list of all the jobs you’ve had in the last fifteen years, with dates and addresses.
  3. In the comments, explain what it is about your conditions that keep you from working. Simply saying, “arthritis” is insufficient. What about arthritis keeps you from working?
  4. Having your doctor write a letter saying that you can’t work does little good. That is a vocational opinion, and not a medical opinion. It is more useful for the doctor to state the limitations you would have in working: how long can you sit, stand, and walk; how much can you lift; do you need a sit stand option; will you miss work due to your impairments and how often…?
  5. While your disabling impairment must last for 12 months, you do not have to wait 12 months to apply. As soon as you know you cannot work at the current amount deemed by Social Security to constitute substantial gainful activity, you should consider applying for benefits.
  6. During the process, keep Social Security or your attorney updated as to any new diagnoses or medical providers.