How Letters of Support Can Help Your Disability Claim

Can’t work at least a year because of health problems or have a terminal illness? Then you should apply for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits. Well-written letters of support may go a long way to help you win your case. This is especially true if you looked for other jobs already, but nobody will hire you with your current limitations.

Having a lawyer file your disability application gives you the best possible chance for benefit approval. A Social Security attorney knows what the Social Security Administration (SSA) needs to approve a claim. In addition, simply having one file your paperwork doubles your approval odds on your very first try. One such measure involves obtaining letters from credible sources to provide further evidence of your disability. Be sure to ask people who know you well to describe how your health problems limit your daily activities in these letters!

Who Should You Ask to Write Letters of Support?

Often, people will ask friends or family members to write a letter supporting them and their case. These can be informative, but the administrative law judge may disregard them. However, a letter of support from someone who has seen how your disability affects your every day and ability to work might help you win your case.

Tips For Your Letters of Support

Keep Your Letters of Support Concise

It’s important that friends, family, previous employers or caregivers do not ramble in their letters. They should be brief and informative. In these situations, quality is more important, especially because the judge won’t want to read through anything long-winded. Additionally, only ask a few people to write letters to avoid overwhelming the judge. Pick two or three people who will best support your Social Security disability claim and ask them for a letter.

Former Employers Are Great Resources

Someone you’ve previously worked with or for could benefit your Social Security disability claim because they saw first-hand how your disability affected how well you were able to do your job. Whether it was needing help to perform basic functions, extra time to get work done or you had to leave because you were no longer able fulfill the job duties, the judge will likely take these letters into account when making their decision.

Only Ask People Who Help You Write Letters of Support

People who have a deep understanding of your disability and witness your shortcomings themselves because they have to help you could be beneficial as well. If you have a caregiver, friend or family member who you need to assist you with complete daily activities like bathing, grocery shopping, cooking or getting dressed, a letter of support from them describing your limitations and how their support could be taken into account as proof of your disability.

Edit And Notarize Letters of Support

Before submitting any letters of support for your Social Security disability claim, it’s important to edit them so they make sense. Have your lawyer review the letters before you submit them. This is to ensure they’re actually helpful and not harmful in any way to your case. Then, get the letters notarized in order to prove their authenticity.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to an experienced Social Security lawyer for help with your claim. The lawyers in our network can meet you in person to answer claim questions privately. This confidential, in-person meeting costs nothing. It does not obligate you to have that lawyer handle your claim. If that lawyer handles your appeals hearing, you won’t pay anything unless you win. A lawyer filing your paperwork doubles your chances of benefit approval the first time you apply for SSD.

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Megan Kelly is a former blogger and copywriter for LeadingResponse.