If you have a permanent disability that precludes you from working, you need a way to provide for your own financial needs. That's where Social Security disability insurance comes. Social Security disability benefits are overseen by the Social Security Administration. If your disability is expected to last for at least one year, you need to apply for disability benefits. In most cases, your application will be denied the first time. Don't be discouraged.
Once you receive your letter of denial, you should contact a disability attorney. Your attorney will help you prepare your appeal. During the appeals process, you'll go before an Administrative Law Judge. The judge will determine whether or not you appeal will be approved. Here are three things you should remember when you attend your appeals hearing.
Be Honest About Your Symptoms
When you go before the judge, it's important that you be completely honest about your symptoms. Administrative Law Judges hear appeals cases all day. They know when people are being honest, and when they're exaggerating their symptoms. If the judge determines that you're not being honest, you could lose your case.
Don't Try to Hide Your Pain
If you suffer from pain due to your disability, don't try to hide it. If you're in pain during your hearing, acknowledge that pain. It's important that you let the judge know exactly how much pain you're in, and how it's affecting you throughout the course of the hearing. You should also come prepared with a list of medications that you take for your pain. This will help the judge determine how the pain you're experiencing affects your daily life.
Be Specific About Your Disability
When you're speaking to the judge about your disability, give specific details. If your disability causes you extreme back pain, don't just say that you're in pain all day. Instead, provide as much information as you can. For instance, say that your back pain makes it impossible for you to sit for more than a few minutes at a time or that it prevents you from sleeping through the night. Those details will help paint a complete picture of how your disability affects you on a daily basis.
If you're going to be applying for Social Security disability benefits, be prepared to fight for your rights. If your application for benefits is denied, the tips provided above will help you argue your case during the appeals process. Be sure to speak to a disability attorney as soon as possible. They can help you through the process. Contact a firm like Horn & Kelley, PC Attorneys at Law for more information about your options.
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