If you are unable to work because of medical conditions, you need to know how to successfully apply for SSI benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees two disability programs. One of those programs is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This is a disability program that has strict financial guidelines.
Your income must meet the established guidelines set forth by the SSA. SSI is different than Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which requires the disabled worker to have earned sufficient work credits during the last 10 years. SSI claimants have to meet the same medical requirements as SSDI claimants and show that the SSA that they are unable to work because of their health problems.
The Importance of Gathering Documentation
Another key step to knowing how to successfully apply for SSI includes gathering all the right documentation to support your claim for disability benefits. Documents that can support your claim include medical reports including physician notes, test results, and surgical notes. Maintain thorough documentation that shows your symptoms and how they impact your functioning.
It is recommended to maintain a daily journal where you list the severity of your pain, the functioning limitations, and what you could and could not do on a particular day. By keeping a journal, you can clearly show how your medical problems impact your daily living. By having your medical providers complete residual functioning capacity (RFC) forms, you can also boost your chances of your claim being approved. The RFC will clearly state any limitations or restrictions you have because of your condition so the SSA will understand why you are unable to work.
List All Symptoms
Just because you have a particular medical condition doesn't mean you will have all the symptoms, so another important step in knowing how to file a successful SSI claim is making sure you list all your symptoms. You might have symptoms that don't usually accompany a particular condition. It is imperative that you make sure you take note of all of your symptoms and their severity. You should also list any side effects or symptoms that you suffer as a result of the medications that you take as part of your treatment regimen.
As an example, if your condition causes nausea and you take medicine for nausea that causes dizziness and drowsiness, you should make sure you include those details in your documentation. Your daily symptoms journal can also be very beneficial in showing what symptoms you suffer how those symptoms keep you from living a normal life and performing your daily activities as usual.
Consult With An Attorney or Advocate
An essential step in knowing how to file a successful claim for SSI benefits is enlisting the help of a disability lawyer or advocate. With the help of a representative, your chances of being approved for benefits increases significantly. Representatives are paid a percentage of your back pay after you are approved for benefits, so you will not have any out of pocket expenses or upfront costs. Schedule a free consultation with an attorney or advocate today.