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Social Security Disability - The Initial Application
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Greetings again!

The initial application process for Social Security Disability appears straightforward, but there are some tips you can use to make the application stronger from the get-go.

First, if you have a physical impairment, and have the ability to do so, apply in person at your local Social Security office. There will be computers available for this purpose, and you will meet with one of their representatives. The important thing is that they will be able to see (in most cases) your physical impairment (loss of a limb, blindness, etc.) Ask them to put in the file that they observed your impairment. The fact is that anyone can claim anything online.

Second, be sure to list all your employers going back 15 years. If you have "job hopped" due to your symptoms, don't feel bad admitting that. It is a factor that will actually work in your favor. I know of one case where a person had over 30 jobs in that 15-year period! The lack of stability in the workforce is part of how your condition affects you.

Third, make sure to list all medications you take, all doctors you see, any diagnosis related to your ability to work, and any hospitalizations you've had. Some people get so fixated on the major diagnosis they have that they forget to list other illnesses that are related it. For instance, people with a major illness many times develop depression and anxiety as a result of the stress associated with it. It's important to list that.

Fourth, once Social Security has verified the information you provide (which is to say, your employment history), you will receive a big packet in the mail with an Activities of Daily Living questionnaire included. This is where many people inadvertently "help" the disability examiners to deny their claim. I will delve into this questionnaire in much greater detail in another article, but I would offer you the following advice initially.

Don't say you don't do anything all day. Everybody does something during waking hours. Even if it's "sitting in a chair watching the news". Saying you do nothing makes your application less credible, because, quite frankly, examiners know it's not true. Remember, being deemed "disabled" does not mean you are bed-bound or incapacitated. It means you suffer from one or more conditions that prevent, or greatly impair, full-time work.

You also need to use some reverse psychology on yourself. The fact is that you are writing about some very painful circumstances in your life, and someone you have never met is reading it. There is a natural tendency to make things sound a little too good. By that, I mean not being fully descriptive of how your symptoms impact your daily life. Again, more on this in a separate article.

Bye for now!


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