At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What Are the Best Tips for Claiming Disability?

Felicia Dye
Felicia Dye

When claiming disability in the US, individuals should be prepared for a battle because benefits may be difficult to obtain. To avoid hindering the process, applicants should provide all requested information and complete forms thoroughly. It is important to make sure that the effects of the disability are displayed when dealing with the provider of benefits or when in public and to accurately describe the effects of the disability when asked. Since obtaining benefits is likely to be a long and complicated process, legal assistance is something that should be seriously considered.

Anyone claiming disability should proceed with a realistic outlook. This is especially necessary when trying to obtain benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Proving the need or eligibility for disability compensation can be a lengthy and frustrating process. In the case of the SSA, for example, the majority of applications are denied following the initial request. Winning a case generally requires a substantial amount of perseverance and persistence. Considering this, anyone who feels entitled to benefits must realize that she may have to appeal or apply several times.

Woman posing
Woman posing

To avoid making the process of claiming disability more difficult, individuals should make sure that they are prepared. A substantial amount of documentation and details are likely to be required. Failing to provide what is requested can delay the process or it can result in an unnecessary denial.

Individuals who file for disability with the SSA should receive an activities of daily living form at some point. This questionnaire will ask about a person's ability to perform common tasks such as cooking and bathing. Many of these questions are presented so that they appear harmless. It is important for individuals to report any type of discomfort, pain, or inability that they experience with regards to these activities because the SSA uses this to determine whether or not a person is able to work.

It is also important to remember that perception matters. For example, individuals who are claiming disability that involves mobility or pain, should not make it seem effortless to appear at hearings or to come to an office to complete paperwork. If tasks can be completed via telephone or email, using these convenient options can be very supportive of the claims made. This also means that applicants should avoid trying to appear in a better state than they are at hearings or meetings. Notations are often made about such things and it can impact the outcome of the case.

Disability applicants should also know that their cases may not be based solely on their reports or that of their doctors. Some disability benefits providers contact family, neighbors and other individuals and make inquiries. It is important to ensure that when in public, a visible disability is apparent and any special equipment or mobility aids that have been prescribed are being used.

Claiming disability is often a complicated process. There may be various nuances to the system that the average person is unaware of or the manner in which things are interpreted may differ from the way that the general person perceives things. Considering the overall difficulty of obtaining benefits, it is a good idea to consult with a disability lawyer who has experience with the system that the applicant is attempting to obtain benefits from.

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Woman posing
      Woman posing