How to Win Your Disability Case
By Mia Maysack, PNN Columnist
A dear friend and I have ventured through the Social Security disability process. We’re both severely impacted by chronic head pain caused by traumatic brain injuries. Her pain stems from a motorcycle accident, while mine is a souvenir from bacterial meningitis.
Our paths crossed while attending a lobbying event. We bonded instantly — not only because we could relate to each other’s pain — but because we pushed ourselves far past our limits. Accepting reality is tough on us both.
Neither of us are fluent in the practice of law, although my friend worked as a paralegal prior to her health deteriorating. Together, we’ve cultivated a few main points to be used as a guide for others who may be considering their own pursuit of disability. (See link for article)
Also, read the comments after the article. I found this one most interesting and helpful:
I am a retired Social Security Disability Adjudicator. In order to be approved one must have a medical condition that prevents work and is expected to last one year or result in death. It is necessary to have medical documentation supporting your disability. Also, be prepared to document how your condition affects your Activities of Daily Living. If your doctor agrees that you are disabled, get what is called a “Medical Source Statement” from your doctor endorsing your disability. The Social Security Adjudicator must give what is called “weight” to this statement. This is a legal term used in disability reviews. In my opinion, you do not need an attorney. The three levels of review or Initial, Reconsideration, and Administrative Law Judge review. You do not need an attorney at ANY level. One other thing, if not allowed on the first and second level, apply for review within the timeframe given because if this is not done, you end up at the initial level rather than Reconsideration level as you did not apply timely. Also, pain is definitely supposed to be considered in any evaluation decision.