Social Security Disability Benefits Approval the First Time

It is true that the majority of social security disability applications are denied following the initial application. Last year more than three million people applied for social security disability benefits and that number is expected to rise each year.

A social security disability claimant recently posted a helpful comment discussing his success in obtaining social security disability benefits approval following his initial application.

As disability attorneys we agree that all of the actions taken by this claimant are a good strategy.

I was so sure my SSDI claim would be denied on the 1st application – but it was approved immediately!

What I did that I believe was helpful:

  1. 1My initial disability claim was through my primary doctor, but I had seen several specialists in the 2-3 years before I became totally disabled and their reports and tests they ordered supported the severity of my diagnoses. The most recent one was within 3 months of my claim.
  2. 2) Before I filed, I made a list of every doctor visit, lab test, other tests (X-Ray, MRI etc.), and surgery – what they were for, who ordered them, and what the outcome/findings were. I put the list in order by dates, and had every doctor’s full name, address, phone and FAX numbers.
  3. 3) I made a list of every physical problem I have, and wrote down when it started and how it affected my being able to do, or not do, everyday activities as well as work activities.
  4. 4) I also made a list of all of my previous employers, with names, addresses, phone and FAX numbers, dates I worked, and what kind of work I did, especially including physical requirements of the day-to-day work.
  5. 5) I made a list of the relatives and friends who could verify my history and physical condition, with names, addresses, and phone numbers (ones who were willing, and reasonably good at talking to people).
  6. 6) I wrote down all of my physical problems AND all of the things I have trouble doing physically as well as subjective problems like pain, and took it with me to my primary doctor, and asked her to go over it with me before she filled out my claim form, so I could be sure nothing got left out.
  7. 7) I filled out the form on-line, but requested my interview in person (the claim form was not too tough, because I had already organized everything!). I printed a copy for myself for my records.
  8. 8) When I went to my interview, I took all the stuff they requested (SS card, drivers’ license, etc.) AND all of my medical records so the interviewer could make a copy. The interviewer was so thrilled!!! He said it made it really easy for them to review, and it all went through in just 2 1/2 months! Just in time for the 5 month waiting period to be over so I could get my 1st check! I was stunned and amazed, but really happy!The interviewer told me he hardly ever had anybody apply that had everything already done and organized, and I think it made a huge difference, especially having ALL of the medical stuff so they didn’t have to try and get ahold of doctors’ offices and records for the review, which can apparently be unbelievably time-consuming. So it also meant that my case could all be reviewed by 1 medical examiner, which probably helped, too.

    It took a lot of time and energy to put all that stuff together, especially getting all of the medical records, test copies, X-Rays, etc., plus putting it in order, but if you could have seen how happy the interviewer was like I did, you can see that it makes a difference if you make it easier for them – I guess they’re only human too.

One other thing: the medical examiners want the doctor reports and results to give them an idea of how limited you are physically in your daily activities like sitting, standing, walking, bending, eating, etc., – and verify your claim (which most doctor reports don’t, really – they talk about your diagnosis, but not always exactly how it affects you) – so if you can call, write, or see your doctor(s) to “remind” them that you want that info included in any reports they make to SS, it will really help. For example, after 8 months, does your orthopedic surgeon even KNOW how tired it makes you to try to walk a block? Maybe he knows you can DO it, but he needs to know (and include in his report) that you CAN’T do it comfortably, i.e. normally.

So go see him, (or write, or call) and tell him you’re filing for SS and you’d like him to be aware of it. My primary doctor had forgotten several things, because I’d seen a specialist about them, not her – she had their reports in my chart, but it had been over a year, and she wouldn’t have remembered except that I went to see her with my list.

And I’m sure the SS medical claim examiner would figure that if your primary doctor didn’t mention it up front, it probably isn’t very significant… right? Plus, my insurance company approved my long-term disability as well, after I sent them the SS approval letter (NOT that that’s a guarantee, but it helps).

So, that’s my experience – hope it helps somebody else.

Good luck!

Starr Ward

If your social security disability claim or disability insurance claim has been denied, it is important to contact a disability attorney and discuss your rights.

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Yes. We are a national disability insurance law firm that is available to represent you regardless of where you live in the United States. We have partner lawyers in every state and we have filed lawsuits in most federal courts nationwide. Our disability lawyers represent disability claimants at all stages of a claim for disability insurance benefits. There is nothing that our lawyers have not seen in the disability insurance world.

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Since we represent disability insurance claimants at different stages of a disability insurance claim we offer a variety of different fee options. We understand that claimants living on disability insurance benefits have a limited source of income; therefore we always try to work with the claimant to make our attorney fees as affordable as possible.

The three available fee options are a contingency fee agreement (no attorney fee or cost unless we make a recovery), hourly fee or fixed flat rate.

In every case we provide each client with a written fee agreement detailing the terms and conditions. We always offer a free initial phone consultation and we appreciate the opportunity to work with you in obtaining payment of your disability insurance benefits.

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No. For purposes of efficiency and to reduce expenses for our clients we have found that 99% of our clients prefer to communicate via telephone, e-mail, fax, GoToMeeting.com sessions, or Skype. If you prefer an initial in-person meeting please let us know. A disability company will never require you to come to their office and similarly we are set up so that we handle your entire claim without the need for you to come to our office.

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Bruce R. (Arizona)

Steve Dell has done an exceptional job with my disability application process. The firm is extremely well managed. They have acquired an incredible amount of experience over many years. I recommend them for disability insurance claims without reservation. 

Don (Florida)

I called this firm a few months ago completely disparaged due to a company cutting off disability benefits at a time that nearly caused me to lose everything.

Attorney Alex Palmera and Danielle worked hard to reach an amicable settlement and my case was settled a few months later. This is a good firm and the specific expertise in disability claims saved me countless hours of hassle at a time when an already fragile state existed.

Thank you Mr. Palamara and Danielle.

Sandra B. (Arkansas)

I have nothing but good things to say about how my buyout was handled with my disability claim. The level of professionalism was amazing. All of my questions and concerns were answered either by Danielle L. or Alex P. in such a timely manner and with such care I would recommend them in a heartbeat to anyone needing to approach their provider with buyout options.

They did a fantastic job communicating between the provider and me, always keeping my best interest at heart and always answering my many many questions. They really did take most of the stress out of this whole situation. I would give them a 10 out of 10 for every step of this crazy journey. Thank you so much for helping me through this.

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