When you’re trying to get Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Between the complicated forms, piles of required evidence, and the long bureaucratic process, people are often tempted to just give up on the possibility of ever receiving these benefits.
However, if you give up, then you might be walking away from money that the U.S. government owes you. For most people who work in the U.S., the government subtracts money from their wages for Social Security contributions before they even see their paycheck. Contributions from employees across the country are compiled into a fund that’s supposed to help workers when they reach retirement age or if they develop a severe medical condition that prevents them from working.
If you have ever worked in the U.S. and you now have a medical condition that prevents you from working at all, then you might be entitled to these disability benefits. The Terry Law Firm is here to help you pursue them. We’re committed to using a full team effort to provide both the exceptional legal skills you need for your case and the personalized attention you deserve.
With over 50 years of experience serving Greeneville and areas throughout East Tennessee, our respected SSD benefits attorneys have the skills and resources it takes to tackle even the most complicated cases. As demonstrated by results and client testimonials from our past cases, our compassionate legal team is dedicated to helping hardworking Tennesseans stand up for the compensation they’re owed and seek the best possible outcome for their case.
Don’t wait to fight for the benefits you deserve. Call The Terry Law Firm right away, and let our knowledgeable Greeneville SSD benefits attorneys stand up for your rights. To get started, call us today or fill out our quick online form to schedule your free consultation.
What You Need to Win Disability Claim
Solid medical proof is one of the most important things you need to have to win a disability claim. It’s of course essential to actually have a disability before you can apply for SSD, but just saying you have a disability or sending in a stack of test results usually won’t help you get the full benefits you deserve.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) can rely only on the evidence you submit when they review your claim, plus the people who review claims typically aren’t specialists in every type of medical condition. That’s why it’s critical to have substantial medical records that guide the benefits adjudicators through your claim, explain your condition in simple language, and clearly lay out how this disability prevents you from working.
When you provide each of these elements, you’re helping make it much easier for SSA to say yes to your claim. Depending on your specific disability, a solid medical record might include multiple different pieces of evidence, such as:
- Evaluation and treatment notes from doctors, hospitals, specialists, and other providers related to your condition
- Results from tests like MRIs, X-rays, bloodwork panels, and CT scans
- Mental health records
- A historical account of your prognosis, how your condition has progressed, the care you’ve received along the way, how your disability responded to various treatments, and the current status of your impairment
- Details on the specific restrictions your condition causes, such as an inability to lift more than 10 pounds
- Your personal doctor’s notes on the ways your medical condition has limited your “residual functional capacity” (RFC) in contrast to what you would typically be able to do at your age, education level, etc. if you didn’t have this impairment
Tips for Your SSD Case
When you’re applying for SSD, there are some basic steps you can take to help increase your chance of getting approved for benefits, such as:
- Apply as soon as possible. Some people wait to apply for disability because they don’t need the money yet or because they’re worried that SSA will reject their claim. However, until you apply, there’s really no way for SSA to make any type of a decision on your case – either approval or denial.
Additionally, applying as soon as possible helps make sure you have the money when you really need it. The disability application process often takes months or years. If you wait until the point where you desperately need these benefits to begin your application, then you might run out of money while you’re waiting for a response.
- Follow the doctor’s orders. It’s essential to follow your doctor’s treatment plan, which includes things like showing up for your medical appointments, taking the medications your physician prescribes, and going to specialists they recommend. If you ignore your doctor’s orders, then you might not be able to access disability benefits – especially if your condition worsens or doesn’t improve as it should.
- Keep detailed records. When you keep all documentation related to your condition in one place, it can save you valuable time whenever you apply for SSD, try to appeal a benefits decision, or report updates on your condition.
Beyond official records, it’s also helpful to keep notes on how your disability is impacting your daily life, any additional symptoms or side effects you’ve noticed, and the names of family members, friends, or coworkers who have witnessed these impacts and might be willing to testify on your behalf.
- Don’t downplay your disability. While it’s important to avoid exaggerating your disability, it’s also crucial to avoid minimizing the hugely challenging impacts that your serious medical condition has on your life. When you downplay your disability, it won’t do anything to help your case, plus it might make it impossible for you to get the level of benefits that you truly deserve.
- Hire a trusted SSD benefits attorney. Trying to fight through the headaches of the disability claims process is often overwhelming when you’re already trying to deal with the disability itself, but you don’t have to go through this alone. A trusted SSD benefits attorney can stand by your side and handle all the details of your claim, so you don’t have to.
Why You Need an SSD Lawyer
A respected SSD lawyer can not only champion your cause and fight on your behalf, but they can also make the process much less stressful for you and often help you get benefits faster.
For instance, a skilled SSD attorney can help you clearly tell the story of your medical history, your impairment, and the limitations that your disability causes. Since medical records are so crucial to your SSD claim, it’s critical to have someone on your side who knows exactly what to ask for and how to get the specific pieces of evidence you need.
When you try to obtain your records on your own, your doctor might take forever to respond to your request, give you only a summary report instead of your full records, or just send you a pile of technical documents from their files. If these documents don’t include things like records from treatment centers your doctor has recommend or expert interpretations of your test results, they might do very little to support your claim.
However, an experienced SSD lawyer will know the specific pieces of evidence you’ll need to win your claim, so they can evaluate what’s missing. They can also do the hard work to contact your various medical providers, ensure they send this information on time, and piece everything together in a way that best helps SSA understand your condition.
Additionally, your attorney can use their in-depth knowledge of SSD laws to convincingly and completely fill out all the paperwork needed for your claim and help make sure any necessary documents are submitted in time. Otherwise, if you miss an important deadline related to your claim, you might miss out on benefits you’re owed.
Furthermore, your lawyer can help you file an appeal or request a hearing if SSA denies your claim or offers you much less than you deserve. They can also help improve your chances of success by arranging for medical experts and personal witnesses to testify to the severity and limitations of your condition, helping you prepare for the hearing, and fighting to help you achieve the best possible results for your case.
What Do I Need for My Case?
To prepare for your claim and help your attorney represent your case, it’s helpful to gather some basic information, such as:
- Specific information on all the medical providers you have seen for your condition
- Your work history
- Receipts for any money you spent on your condition, including on treatments, services, or medications
- Full medical records, as well as a letter from your physician
- Detailed notes on the symptoms of your impairment, your limitations, treatments you’ve tried, and additional conditions that your impairment has caused
Contact an SSD Lawyer in Greeneville Today for Help!
Don’t wait to seek the disability benefits you’re owed. To get started, contact The Terry Law Firm today, and set up your free consultation with an experienced Greeneville SSD lawyer. Talk to us now by phone or reach us 24/7 through our live online chat.