Your application for Social Security Disability benefits depends on the accuracy and completeness of your application form, as it provides the basis and structure for your claim.
As part of your application for Social Security Disability benefits, you will fill out a lot of paperwork and submit documentation and forms to the Social Security Administration. The basic form is 14 pages long, and some of the requested information is really basic. Your name, you address, etc.
However, the form also asks important questions, such as the medical conditions that limit your work. This section of the report does not look much larger than some of the more mundane sections. It provides five lines in which you can list your medical conditions. This may cause you to think that these sections are not that important to your claim. Do not make this mistake.
Your medical conditions are important
The medical conditions that you list here are going to be some of the most important evidence of your disability. Remember, the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability for SSD focuses on the inability to work as defined by the statute. This means it is important to list every medical condition that creates a medical impairment and that affects your ability to work.
When you list your conditions, you will want to include every one that creates functional limitations. You will want to list the most severe impairment’s first, but the more comprehensive your list, the better a picture of your overall ability to function in the workplace. You want the claim’s examiner who is reviewing your application and file to have a complete understanding of all of the medical conditions that affect your ability to work.
How do these conditions limit your ability to work?
In additional to these medical conditions that cause functional limitations, you want to describe all of the symptoms from these medical conditions that you suffer from and the impairments that they cause. For instance, if you have a back injury or deterioration of the spine, and cannot stand or walk for long periods or have balance issues, you would want to list these issues.
Similarly, if you have had symptoms of mental impairments, listing issues such as the inability to focus, to remember details or that you are now easily confused by instructions are relevant. Such impairments would make being a police officer or school teacher, difficult if not impossible.
Remember, the more direct and specific your descriptions, the greater your credibility and the value of your statements. Don’t embellish; stick to the facts and describes things as they are. By providing a full a picture of your health as it relates to your inability to continue working, the easier you make it for the examiner to determine that you are disabled.
It is equally important to provide information concerning your medical treatment and how you have followed your doctor’s recommendations. If you have begun to suffer from an ailment that could force you out of work, one thing that could become very helpful is to keep a detailed notebook of every visit to a doctor, every treatment, procedure, therapy session or drug prescribed.
By creating such a list, you will have a record of the progression of your condition that can be used to provide specific details when you describe any element of your impairments. This will make your application much more compelling and instructive to a claims examiner and should you need to appeal your case to an administrative law judge, such evidence can provide strong support for your arguments during your hearing.
Speaking with an attorney experienced with the SSD application and appeal process can be helpful, as they can explain further they type of detail that is important and can help ensure that your application is not missing crucial information or documentation.