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Old 01-19-2011, 03:19 PM   #1
Rickey
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Arrow Don't start your claim unprepared!!!

I am starting this thread in hopes that it will somehow help someone avoid all the headaches and worries that others have suffered in this forum including myself. And believe me; this advice is in no way coming from a professional. Just from my experience and what I have learned from it. There are a lot of people in this forum that are a lot smarter than me. They know a lot more about this stuff than I do. When I decided to file for my SSDI; I did not research any at all. I went at it blindfolded you might say. I had not hired a lawyer to start with so I had no legal advice on an SSDI claim at all. I simply went to the SSA office and filed the paper work. I signed several forms giving the SSA permission to get my medical records thinking this was enough.
This positively will not get the job done.

1. If you have several medical problems as I do, you need to list in detail each and every one of them on the initial claim or the appeal form.

2. For each and every medical problem you list on the claim or appeal form, make sure you present copies of medical records to back up each problem including any x-rays. Your hospital or doctor can not refuse to give you copies of your records or x-rays. Don’t let them tell you they can’t. Present these records to SSA at the time of your claim or appeal. I didn’t do this. SSA does not accept word of mouth or the fact that something is written on the claim.

3. List all medications you take, the name of the drug, your prescribed dosage and any side effects the medication may cause. Some medication may cause side effects on you that they don’t normally cause on other people. Don't leave anything out.

4. This is very important; I think this is where I failed. On each and every question on the form, go deep into detail. Again, don't leave anything out. I figured that the records would provide the details so I answered most of the questions with the shortest answer possible. Wrong.

5. Be honest on your claim and don't tell a fib. I'm not saying that I lied on my application but I have read in another forum where someone got caught in a couple of lies and was denied. Their lawyer refused to represent them anymore in their appeal because they were being dishonest.

This initial application or the appeal is very long and takes a while to finish. Don't make the mistake I did. Whether you are filing for the first time or filing your appeal, take your time and answer each question with all the details you possibly can. Believe me; this will benefit you greatly in the long run. In my opinion and I could be wrong, but a lawyer is not necessary until when and if you are denied the first time. Then I would definitely get legal advice. I just believe that if you do the 5 things listed above, you will stand a lot better chance of winning your claim. And last but not least, SSA does not get in a hurry by any means. Don't expect an answer in a short time period. Some people get an answer in as little as 4 to 6 months, then again some people wait for as much as 5 to 7 years.
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Old 01-19-2011, 05:02 PM   #2
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Great! Just want to add:

- make copies. They lost my file.
- I used some of their own language (SSDI Blue book), but not sounding uppity but informed.
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:06 PM   #3
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My biggest tip is describing your 'average' day to them......not your best functioning day but don't overdramatize saying you can't do anything if sometimes you can.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kicker View Post
Great! Just want to add:

- make copies. They lost my file.
- I used some of their own language (SSDI Blue book), but not sounding uppity but informed.
Very good point. Always keep copies for your own records.

Thanks, rlj1959
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by finz View Post
My biggest tip is describing your 'average' day to them......not your best functioning day but don't overdramatize saying you can't do anything if sometimes you can.
This is true, I have read that the more you try to make them feel sorry for you, the less they feel sorry. I guess that they think you are exaggerating your situation.

Thanks, rlj1959
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Old 01-20-2011, 03:28 PM   #6
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I don't want to sound harsh but, try not to whine. Like rlj states get advice, and gather knowledge, you don't have to necessarily use an attorney in the original complaint and the reconsideration the ssa.gov site has a question thread. (however, if you get to the ALJ hearing you may want to consider hiring an attorney.) The ss gov site will lead you to statutes and rules that gets the point across. In Fl. the SS statute that is used a lot is 404. Example according to 404.(additional numbers) it states that the description of disability is you can't walk, stand, sit and according to your statute this means I can't do any substantial gainful activity. This holds them down to their own meaning of a disability. Of course you have to back that up with doctors reports, mri, scans, copies of your medical bills ect. It can become difficult when you don't feel well to begin with, if you can read you can do this. My offer still stands, anyone needing help filling out forms I will be more than willing to give a hand.
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:10 PM   #7
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Copies of your medical bills don't prove disability
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finz View Post
Copies of your medical bills don't prove disability
This is true, they don't. But they do prove that you paid for a procedure or whatever to back up your claim. Think about it that way.
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlj1959 View Post
This is true, they don't. But they do prove that you paid for a procedure or whatever to back up your claim. Think about it that way.
They do not care what med bills you have paid for. It has noting to do w/proving disability. More people than not do not pay their medical bills because of no insurance and/or economical reasons. Ever heard of FREE clinics and/or hospital charity cases?

SS goes by medical reports and especially the doctors NOTES.
When you list all the prescriptions on the forms make sure you list every single side effect AND how the side effects affect your everyday life. Make sure you mention same to all of your treating physicians.

This is very important. When you chit-chat w/your doctor watch what you say. Doctors write everything down in their NOTES which SS reads w/a fine tooth comb.

What you state on the SS forms must match up to what are in the medical reports and the doctor's NOTES!


Hope this helps a little bit!
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:38 AM   #10
Rickey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mz Migraine View Post
They do not care what med bills you have paid for. It has noting to do w/proving disability. More people than not do not pay their medical bills because of no insurance and/or economical reasons. Ever heard of FREE clinics and/or hospital charity cases?

SS goes by medical reports and especially the doctors NOTES.
When you list all the prescriptions on the forms make sure you list every single side effect AND how the side effects affect your everyday life. Make sure you mention same to all of your treating physicians.

This is very important. When you chit-chat w/your doctor watch what you say. Doctors write everything down in their NOTES which SS reads w/a fine tooth comb.

What you state on the SS forms must match up to what are in the medical reports and the doctor's NOTES!


Hope this helps a little bit!
I totally agree with everything you are saying. But, if a person does have receipts, it does help to prove their claim. It may not have any bearing on the final decision. But it is documented proof that you have taken steps to prove your claim. And yes I have heard of free clinics and hospital charity. There again, this is documented proof for your claim even though it comes from a free source. A medical document is just that, a medical document. It dose not matter where it came from or if you paid for it or didn't pay for it.
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