What Can I do To Improve My Chances With Social Security?

I am in my office, and as I write, a client is sitting in the waiting room to talk about his social security claim.  No, I am not being heartless, he showed up a half hour early because he is anxious about his claim.  I do not blame him.  The system can be overwhelming.  The Code of Federal regulations book which outlines the Social Security rules and regulations is two inches thick and the print is font size 8 or 10.  Believe it or not I have read all or most of it over the last 21 years of representing people before the social security administration.

What helps the most in improving your chances of getting your benefits is to have  proper medical treatment and proper medical documentation.  I have had to tell many, many clients, I believe you, but the Social Security Administration will not give you benefits unless you can show medical evidence of the problem.  The best evidence is objective evidence of a physical problem.  If you have a disc problem (back injury or spinal cord injury), an MRI or CT scan demonstrating that problem is best.  If you have a breathing problem, pulmonary function tests (FEV, DLCO) are essential.  If you have a heart problem, proper heart imaging including EKG and cardiac catheterization or echocardiogram are essential.  If you have peripheral neuropathy, an EMG is essential.  No matter what the condition, if an objective test (a test that shows the problem without you being able to affect the outcome of the test) is by far and away the best and improves your chances of obtaining your benefits.

Some problems do not lend themselves to objective tests.  Brain injury often requires evidence of a neuropsychological test.  This test is not perfectly objective, but does carry a lot of weight.  If you have a psychological condition, proper treatment from a psychiatrist and counselor are essential.  This means on ongoing course of treatment, not just seeing them every so often.  A lot of times, people with depression just get medications from their family doctor.  This is fine, but if you have a disability claim with the SSA, I recommend that you see a psychiatrist and a counselor on a regular basis.  This will enhance your chances of getting your benefits.

At Young and Young, John P. Young has represented claimants before the Social Security Administration for more than 21 years.  He handles the claims personally.  When you call John, you talk to John. John will be at your hearing with you.  Give him a call.

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