Preparing with a Chicago Social Security attorney

Mistakes on Social Security Disability applications often lead to delays or claim denials, as any Chicago Social Security attorney knows. In 2010, over 30 percent of applications were denied for technical reasons, according to the Social Security Administration. People pursuing SSD benefits in Illinois often benefit from seeking legal assistance to complete their applications. However, applicants should also keep the following tips in mind.

Providing accurate information

Nothing guarantees SSD claim approval, but a few factors can improve the likelihood of a claim being successful. Applicants should make sure to do the following when completing their applications:

  • Include all impairments. Many people may feel ashamed of mental conditions or believe minor impairments are irrelevant. However, if the SSA evaluates an individual’s Residual Functional Capacity, the inclusion of more impairing conditions increases the odds of the person receiving a medical vocational allowance.
  • Provide full contact information. The SSA can obtain medical records more quickly if the applicant lists the names, phone numbers and addresses of treating physicians and care facilities. If the SSA cannot easily reach an applicant or a medical source, the claim may be denied.
  • Give detailed information in the work activity section. Many applicants focus mainly on documenting their impairments, but the SSA also uses employment information to determine whether an applicant can resume any past jobs. Vague information may result in a determination that the applicant is ineligible for SSD benefits because he or she can work gainfully.
  • Establish the correct onset date. Onset date determines whether a person is entitled to back pay. Unfortunately, determining when a gradual-onset condition became disabling can be difficult. Applicants should review their medical records and talk with people close to them to identify an accurate date.
  • Avoid broad or vague statements. Applicants should describe symptoms, daily limitations and work history in detail. Medical records and job titles usually do not provide enough insight to support an SSA decision, so applicants should offer extensive information to back up their claims.

During every part of the application, applicants should focus on accuracy. Exaggeration can lead to a loss of credibility, while understatements can lead to claim denial.

Additional application steps

When filing the SSD claim, applicants should also submit their medical records. This ensures that the SSA has accurate, complete information to evaluate. It may also prevent delays in the claim decision process.

Applicants should additionally follow up with the SSA on the status of the application. People who applied online or mailed in their applications should always verify that the SSA received the necessary documents. This measure can also help reduce unnecessary delays.