One of the mainstays of obtaining Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is to prove that Tennesseans have a disability. Although, it may seem obvious to one that has a disability, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has a strict definition of what constitutes a disability.
When preparing an application for SSD benefits, it is important to gather as much information as possible documenting a disability. First, there is medical evidence. The SSA may require medical records going back as far as the date at which one claims to have become disabled, known as the disability onset date. When determining this date, it can help for one to ask friends, family and an employer to give their opinion as to when a disability began to affect the ability to perform job duties.
In addition to obtaining a regular physician’s assessment of the applicant’s medical condition, it can help to have a specialist provide an assessment as well. If prescribed medication or therapy, make sure to follow these orders. It is important to ensure that one’s physician are on the same page with regards to the disability, by communicating with the physician about how the disability limits an ability to work.
It may also be necessary to provide non-medical evidence. For example, keeping a detailed account of how a disability affects one’s daily activities all day long can help. For example, one may want to document how their disability affects their ability to carry out ordinary tasks, such as one’s ability to carry objects, stand, sit or walk.
A vocational expert can help in this endeavor, as can the opinions of coworkers, friends and family. Be honest and make sure the claims are consistent as it must be shown not just that one is disabled, but also that disability keeps one from being able to hold down a job.
This is only a brief overview of information that could help with one’s SSD benefits claim. This post cannot serve as the basis for an application for benefits nor can it guarantee any particular result, so it is important to seek the help needed to ensure an application is as complete as possible before submitting it to the SSA.
Source: FindLaw.com, “How to Prove Disability,” accessed on Oct. 8, 2016