There are two ways to complete an initial social security disability application.  You can go online to or you can make an appointment and go into your local office.  Here are some tips to help you through the initial application process.

1.  Details, details, details.  Do not leave any blanks on the social security forms.  At the initial level, social security will use the information you provide to gather your medical records.  The more information you can give about your medical providers, the easier it will be for social security to get your medical records.  You should also be as descriptive as possible about your medical conditions.  You should include information about how your injury or illness affects your life – not only your ability to work but your daily activities as well.  

2.  Documentation.  The medical evidence you provide is the best and most helpful way to substantiate the statements you provide to social security.  Medical evidence includes records, doctor’s notes, test results, therapy logs and prescription records.  If your doctor supports your claim for disability or believes you have restrictions related to your ability to work, these notes should be included as well.   

3.  Advocate.  Lastly, if you do not prevail at either of the two initial levels (initial or reconsideration), consider hiring an attorney to help you with the hearing process.  Once you have requested a hearing, you are responsible for submitting additional medical records to social security for review.  An attorney’s office can help you submit a thorough set of records.  An attorney can also help you navigate questions during the hearing itself.

Published on January 9, 2017