Because you are disabled.

File for disability benefits.

Appeal your case.

How you presented your initial application was the best you could do at that time given what you knew and were told.

But, if you were not successful, appeal (1) because you are disabled and (2) because you can improve on your presentation.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Getting Disability Book

HOW TO GET SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY & SSI DISABILITY was written by Patricia A. Petow, Esq. to help applicants succeed in their claims for disability benefits under Social Security and under SSI. 

HOW TO GET SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY & SSI DISABILITY is available from in paperback and on Kindle.

HOW TO GET SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY & SSI DISABILITY provides line-by-line guidance for applicants and their representatives for the major disability application forms. The book also includes templates for applicants to organize their medical and prescription records.

Attorney Petow notes that many disabled people have difficulty articulating how their disabilities affect them. She recommends that disabled claimants enlist the support of a “personal advocate” as well as an attorney or non-attorney representative.

Attorney Petow argues that properly completed Social Security forms can serve as a low cost “day in the life video.”

Here’s a look at the chapters in the book:


[According to a Social Security study:] “The final award rate for disabled-worker applicants has varied over time, averaging nearly 45 percent for claims filed from 2001 through 2010. The percentage of applicants awarded benefits at the initial claims level averaged 28 percent over the same period and ranged from a high of 37 percent to a low of 26 percent.”

Chapter 1

“In applying for disability, some of the issues for which you need an experienced representative’s help are: the materiality of drug and/or alcohol abuse, credibility determinations, pain determination, evaluation of symptom validity tests” [other issues are also identified in this chapter.]

Chapter 2

[A medical journal] “you should list chronologically every appointment or medical visit (such as to emergency rooms) you have with medical providers, including x-ray departments, lab offices, therapists and social workers and including any visits to Social Security consultative physicians or psychologists.”

Chapter 3

“The forms that you fill out when you first apply stay in your case file and may be looked at and relied upon during later stages of appeal, no matter how much time has passed since you completed the forms.”

Chapter 4

“Never request a medical report from your doctor ‘so that you can get on disability.’”

Chapter 5

“If your doctor or other authorized medical provider recommended that you take non-prescription medication, note that also—it may be that the non-prescription medication is the appropriate medication, and there is no 'better' prescription medication.”

Chapter 6

“It is important to keep in mind that Social Security has a particular legal definition of frequent and occasional, and that definition may not be the layperson or medical provider’s expectation when you are describing your job duties and when anyone else describes your functional capacity. Hours and minutes are more precise than saying frequently or occasionally.”

Chapter 7

“The answers to questions 5 and 6 are the basis of a successful disability claim.”

Chapter 8

“If pain is a major factor in why you cannot work, to persuade Social Security that you cannot work, you must explain how you experience pain.”

Chapter 9

“Simply put, if there have been changes, usually for the worse, in your illnesses, injuries or conditions, or any new illnesses, injuries or conditions, your medical records should reflect, at the very least, your complaining of these worsening conditions.”

Chapter 10

“At this stage, it is up to the claimant and representative to get the medical evidence in the file.”