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Ten Ways to Increase Your Chances of Getting SSI or SSD

  1. Go regularly to your doctor and have all your medical problems treated. SSA thinks untreated medical problems are not serious or disabling.
  2. Take your medication as prescribed.
  3. If your doctor does not specialize in treating your medical problem, get a referral to a specialist to give you more precise tests and treatment.
  4. Go to a psychiatrist if you are feeling depressed or anxious.
  5. Get each of your doctors and/or therapists to complete a questionnaire regarding your disabilities. When a questionnaire is completed, give the original to Social Security and keep a copy for yourself.
  6. Get copies of all of your medical records (out-patient, in-patient, and emergency room). Give them to Social Security. Keep copies for yourself in case Social Security loses them.
  7. Discuss with your doctor, especially if you are under 50, the possibility of getting treatment or training from the Vocational and Educational Service for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) at 718-722-6700.
  8. If Social Security turns you down, you must file any appeal within 60 days from the date of the denial letter. Don’t miss the short deadline. Go back to your local Social Security office and file an appeal.
  9. If you have a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, be prepared to explain what medical and/or psychiatric problems prevent you from working at each job you had in the last 15 years. Be specific about which work duties you can no longer do because of your problems. If you are under 50, be prepared to explained why your medical or psychiatric problems stop you from even doing a simple job where you can sit as much as you like.
  10. Try to get a knowledgeable advocate or lawyer to represent you at your disability hearing. You can try to get help at South Brooklyn Legal Services if you live in the neighborhoods we represent (see How To Get Help From This Office for the list) by calling the SSI Hotline on Mondays from noon to 2 pm at 718-237-5562.

This article was posted March 29, 2007