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2 tips for a successful Social Security Disability claim

It isn’t easy to get a disability claim approved through the Social Security system.

In fact, only around one-third of applications get approved the first time through the process. An unfair denial, unfortunately, means waiting around for months longer than necessary while the case works its way through the reconsideration process. If it gets denied again, a claim can take longer than a year just to get in front of a judge for a hearing!

That makes it particularly important to learn everything you can about how to make your case successful the first time around.

What are some of the top tips for success? Try these:

1. Print out a paper application before you tackle the online version.

While Social Security’s website allows most disability applicants to file a claim online, it can be frustrating to get into the application and realize that you don’t have all of the information necessary at hand. If you have to stop, collect new pieces and start again, you can end up forgetting something important.

Make it easier on yourself by printing the paper copies of the SSA-3368 and the SSA-16 that are used to file for benefits. If you don’t have a printer, you can request paper copies by calling Social Security directly.

2. Talk to your doctor in advance of filing your claim.

You don’t have to have your doctor’s permission to file for disability benefits. In fact, it’s possible to get approved without even having a doctor. If necessary, Social Security will send you for a consultative examination to try to determine your eligibility.

However, you can shorten your wait and make it easier to get approved if you do have good medical records and your doctor’s support. Social Security puts a greater weight on your own treating physician’s opinion than anything else when it comes to disability determinations. The more strongly your doctor supports your decision to file for benefits, the easier it is to get approved.

Source:, “Applying for Social Security disability? Tips to increase your odds of success,” accessed May 29, 2018