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General guidelines on how to get approved for SSI:
1. Don’t give up.
Over 65% of Social Security cases are denied before the appeals process. Many people receive their initial denial and never appeal the decision.
As with any goal, the answer to how to get approved for SSI may simply lie in persistence for some, and that means not giving up before you exhaust all of your appeal options. In order to do that, you need a representative who specializes in Social Security cases and is experienced in navigating the sometimes years-long appeal process.
In the same way that you would not go to a foot doctor for a headache, don’t go to an attorney who specializes in criminal matters or car crashes to represent you before the Social Security Administration. You need a specialist.
2. Get consistent medical treatment
The main reason people are denied benefits is because they lack a pattern of medical care. Social Security cases are like all other court cases in one important respect: it’s all about the strength of your evidence.
We know that when you’re out of work for a long time and have no health insurance or Medicaid, it can be very difficult to find regular medical care.
People are often forced to attend free or sliding-scale clinics that charge fees based on what you are able to pay. The waits are often long, and the care may not be optimal, but your possibility of being approved for benefits hinges on your patience and perseverance when it comes to your medical care.
3. Keep track of your medical records
In disability cases your medical treatment records are your most powerful and persuasive evidence. Without a regular pattern of medical care it is virtually impossible to win your case, no matter how sick you are, or how good your attorney might be.
A Social Security Administration Judge can’t just take your word for how bad you feel or how much you hurt, no matter how trustworthy you might seem. He or she has to base the decision to award your benefits on information from your doctors and other medical providers.
- See a doctor regularly.
- Follow the doctor’s instructions, especially regarding taking any prescribed medicines, attending and completing physical therapy, or other recommended treatment.
- Be sure to report to your doctor any changes in your condition, such as changing pain levels or medication side effects.
- If you have episodic problems, such as headaches or seizures, keep a simple calendar of your good and bad days, including not only the headaches or seizures, but also how long it takes you to recover from them.
4. Show effort to improve
Make certain that your record shows that you are doing everything possible to address your health problems and get better. Even if you have a medical condition that will not improve no matter what you do, you should not be doing anything that makes your condition worse.
If you doctor advises you to stop or reduce smoking or drinking do so; and make sure that they know that you’re trying. The Social Security Administration can deny your benefits if you’re actively doing things that are against your doctor’s orders and can cause you further harm.
Even the best Social Security Appeals Attorney can’t tell you how to get approved for SSI unless you help yourself by getting regular care.
If you need the names of free clinics, or those that can help you with a sliding scale payment, contact us and we will be happy to provide you with a list of facilities in your area.