Those who apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are often in a very difficult position. They may find themselves suddenly unable to work because of an injury or illness. They may require expensive medical care and worry about their ability to pay for it, as well as their ability to cover basic cost-of-living expenses.
SSDI benefits can help those who have a debilitating condition that prevents them from maintaining gainful employment for a year or longer. Those who apply are often anxious about the future and may already be behind on their bills. When the Social Security Administration (SSA) rejects someone’s application, they may feel hopeless.
However, a significant portion of applicants eventually obtain benefits through an appeal. Those waiting for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge can use that time to gather evidence for their appeals. What kinds of evidence could help someone obtain SSDI benefits?
The records of someone’s treatment and details about their ongoing or worsening symptoms can strengthen their claim that they cannot work at all. Given that people often wait many months for an SSDI appeal, they may have numerous medical appointments between when they initially apply and when they present evidence to a judge.
Particularly if the rejection of a claim resulted from inadequate evidence submitted with the initial application, gathering medical records can help during a hearing. The records of their care while they are waiting for an appeal could serve as key evidence in their case.
Numerous parties can potentially provide evidence to the courts about someone’s medical condition. For example, healthcare professionals can talk about the treatment that someone requires or the symptoms they have exhibited during appointments.
Neighbors and former co-workers can talk about how the symptoms of someone’s condition have impacted their daily life. In cases involving unusual medical conditions or an unusually severe presentation of a usually mild or moderate condition, medical experts could help explain to the courts how the applicant’s case is different from the standard case involving that same diagnosis.
Individuals who have received a rejection notice from the SSA when they applied and did not receive benefits during the reconsideration stage of an appeal can partner with a lawyer to prepare carefully for their hearing. Gathering and presenting the right evidence could make all the difference for someone currently unable to work because of their health challenges.