What Should You Say When Filing for Social Security Disability Benefits?

filing for social security disability benefits

When you are beginning your application for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits due to an impairment that will last more than one year and prohibits you from being gainfully employed, it’s important to discuss, as much as possible, the details of your specific disability.

The Social Security disability approval process can be a challenge, so it’s imperative to know what to say when filing your papers, but it’s also important to know what not to say. An approval or denial may depend on how well you complete the paperwork, as it’s one of the main sources of information on which a decision is based. Providing as much information as you can on your medical history, condition and work paints an accurate picture of your situation and helps the administrative law judge make the best decision they can in determining if you may qualify for Social Security disability.

Explain your symptoms and limitations

It can sometimes be embarrassing or scary to discuss your medical issues with a stranger, even through paper, but it’s important to be as forthcoming as possible as to how your life has been affected by your condition. Don’t underestimate the the effects your symptoms and limitations have and don’t downplay them. You won’t get approval for Social Security disability if you’re not truthful. Provide as much information as you can on your condition, medication you take and its side effects, how you’re affected by your disability and how it makes sustaining work a challenge.

Detail your previous work and employment history

Part of the reason you’re filing for Social Security disability is because your condition stops you from being able to work full-time and make enough money to support yourself. Therefore, it’s important to explain the details of previous jobs you’ve had to support why you can no longer do them. Talk about:

  • the duties that were required for each type of work you did
  • your skill level
  • what physical demands each job needed, such as if you had to lift more than 50 pounds every day

You May Qualify for Legal Help to Improve Your Social Security Disability Approval Chances

Hiring a lawyer who specializes in Social Security disability cases can help to improve your chances of having your claim approved. An advocate understands what should be said and not said on an Social Security disability application, and they know how detailed the paperwork needs to be.

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