A 2018 report from the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that almost one in five people in the U.S. have some sort of disability. For many of these people, disability benefits keep them financially afloat, and when their disability benefits are denied or revoked, they need to get them back as soon as possible. If your disability is keeping you from being able to work, but you have been denied disability benefits, here are five tips on getting those benefits that you need and deserve.
1. Appeal Immediately
If you’ve been denied benefits, don’t put off this first step. In most instances, you must make your appeal within 60 days of being notified that you weren’t getting disability. Filing an appeal can also take a very long time, so the sooner you appeal, the sooner it can all get sorted out legally. Don’t procrastinate; take steps to appeal as soon as you can.
2. Find Someone to Represent You
Although you can represent yourself, you stand a better chance if you hire an experience disability attorney to take on your case. Seek a reputable disability attorney in San Diego, California, or wherever your local jurisdiction covers. There are many that are ready to represent you and make sure you get your deserved benefits. Hiring a professional who is experienced in the area and field will allow you to be sure that you haven’t left any stones unturned that could improve your case.
3. Fill Out the Form to Receive Benefits While Appealing
If you were on disability and then lost it, you may still be able to keep those benefits while you’re in the appeals process. This will help tide you over during what can occasionally be a long legal journey. Within ten days of receiving your notice, fill out and return form Form SSA-795, which you should receive along with the notice. If accepted, your benefits will not be terminated until a decision is made at your hearing. Be sure to follow up after you’ve filed to make sure that the form is processed quickly and properly. Keep in mind that it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the oil!
4. Visit the Doctor Regularly
The more well-documented your disability and medical history, the easier it will be to obtain an appeal. In general, if you aren’t seeing a doctor every two to three months, your disability may be revoked, as the assumption will be that your condition has improved. Regular doctor visits can not only help prevent you from losing your benefits in the first place, but can also help provide documentation of your disability should you need to appeal.
5. Stay Polite and Cordial
This sounds like a small thing, but it can make a difference. The appeals process can take a while and can require a lot of paperwork. No matter how frustrating the wait, it never pays to get angry at the people working on your case. Staying on their good side will make things more pleasant all around, and, who knows, it may even get your case extra attention when it comes down to your appeal. Build and preserve those relationships no matter how frustrated you may feel.
Getting your disability benefits may take some time, but by following these tips and hiring the right attorney, you stand a much better chance of winning your case. Start today and claim what you deserve!