As a general rule, filling out an application is relatively straightforward. While this remains true with your Social Security Disability application for the most part, there is a lot riding on this paperwork. Plus, there are a few areas that may be a bit vague. So, here are a few tips that will help as you fill out your application and (fingers crossed) await your approval.
Tip #1: Think Carefully About When Your Disability Started
One very important question that will be asked on your application is when your disability started. In other words, what is the date that you were unable to work as a result of your condition? It is important that you don't put down a date too quickly. Take the time to think about this one. The date that you put down will ultimately determine the amount of back pay that you will receive. If you put the wrong date, and the SSA finds out, it could delay your application. So, think back to the last day that you worked, and put down the following day.
Tip #2: List All of Your Conditions
It isn't uncommon for people to only list their main condition, meaning the condition that will most likely lead to their application being approved for benefits. However, it is important that you list any and all of the conditions that you have been diagnosed with. In some cases, a combination of certain conditions could warrant your classification as disabled.
Tip #3: Do Not Downplay or Exaggerate Your Symptoms
As you are listing your conditions and symptoms on your application, don't be shy. You want to be accurate with all the symptoms that you are experiencing or your application could be denied. The SSA is not going to judge you. At the same time, you don't want to exaggerate your symptoms and make them sound worse than they truly are. Remember, you will need to send your medical records with your application, so it is important that your application (your own words) and your medical records match. Otherwise, it could hurt your overall case.
Tip #4: Provide as Many Details as Possible
Whenever it is requested, you want to give as much information as possible. This may pertain to your job duties, how your specific condition impacts your daily activities, or your current treatment plan. When filling out these sections of the application, you want to be thorough, but you also want to be honest. For example, don't simply say that you work in construction. You will want to add details that you are on your feet for eight to 10 hours a day and often have to lift over 100 pounds. Due to the herniated disc in your back, you are unable to stand longer than 30 minutes or lift over 10 pounds at a time.
For more information, contact a company like Law Center For Social Security Rights.