Social Security Disability
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How To Successfully Apply For Social Security Disability

Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran

Millions apply for Social Security Disability each year and the approval rate is slim. Success usually requires legal assistance.

Many people look for an independent lawyer or advocate after their Social Security Disability application has been denied the first time. Others know that one of the first steps to successfully apply for social security disability is finding an attorney or advocate who can guide them through the process — because it’s not an easy one.

Proving Your Disability

A successful application for social security disability benefits requires that you prove total disability, that your medical condition is real, that you can’t work at all, and that your disability is long-term.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs and has established a rigorous application process. The process requires gathering a lot of documentation and then presenting it to the right people at the right time.

Many individuals who try to go it alone describe the irony involved, and how they’re applying for disability benefits because they are unable to work, but the application process — and dealing with government bureaucracy — feels like a full-time job in and of itself.

Assemble Your Medical Records

A successful SSD application requires that you assemble all your medical records — from the hospital, the doctors who have treated you, and other providers. Sometimes it is beneficial to include formal statements from healthcare professionals.

Recent records are essential — as well as older records that show the onset of your disability. Claims examiners want to see that you are receiving ongoing care and that you are seeing a doctor regularly.

Watch Your Income

Social security disability benefits

You are applying for assistance because your ability to work is extremely limited or nonexistent. To qualify for disability benefits you can’t be engaged in “substantial gainful activity,” which in 2020 is $1,260 for disabled applicants and $2,110 for blind applicants.

One of the mistakes that people make is continuing to work full-time until the application date, or the date of the decision. It also doesn’t look good to be collecting unemployment, either. You’re telling the Unemployment Office that you’re willing and able to work, but telling Social Security that you are unable to work.

A person applying for and collecting SSDI benefits can receive, without penalty, income from investments, interest, a spouse’s income, and any other investments.

Appeal Quickly

If you get denied, you must apply for an appeal within 60 days. The appeal process is tedious and lengthy, but if your claim is ultimately approved you can receive retroactive benefits based on the initial filing date.

An attorney at our law firm can help you file a request for reconsideration and represent you during hearings, prepare you and other witnesses to testify before a judge at these hearings, present new evidence, and argue your case.

Find A Disability Attorney

At some point in the SSD application process, disabled applicants often find themselves consulting an online attorney referral service, or reviewing an online advertising service paid for by a lawyer or law firm. They may start submitting a free evaluation or requesting a free evaluation of their case from someone, anyone, who can help!

Find an attorney who can support you in interviews or hearings, assist you in obtaining all the medical records needed, prepare witnesses for hearings, question witnesses, and immediately initiate an appeals process if your claim is denied.

The professionals at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. have significant experience in the Social Security Disability claims process and are ready to help. We are also local and know many of the doctors, SSI case examiners, and judges who may be reviewing your case.

You don’t need any money upfront. Initial consultations are always without charge, and if we decide to work together, we don’t get paid unless you receive your benefits.

Contact us at your convenience for a meeting to discuss your situation and determine the next steps. You can call us anytime toll-free at 1-866-MICH-LAW or use our convenient online contact form to schedule a no-obligation appointment to discuss your case.

Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.

Mark is a freelance writer living near Concord, New Hampshire. He works with a range of businesses and professional associations in their strategic messaging and content development projects. He also provides content development services to nonprofits and government agencies, helping them distill complex topics and make information more accessible across multiple platforms. When he's not writing, he enjoys working outside and finds mowing his fields on a warm sunny day to be a peak experience.



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