Today I'm going to provide you with five tips to improve your chances of winning your case. In no particular order:
1. You may want to eliminate any red flags which include alcohol abuse, drug seeking behavior, taking other people's medications, and gaps in your medical treatment. All of these red flags can undercut your disability claim. For instance, your disability judge is not going to give you the benefit of the doubt if your underlying medical condition is caused by excessive alcohol or drug use. Additionally, if you miss a lot of doctor's appoints or only go to the doctor every year or two, the inference is that you do not have an underlying condition that is serious enough to cause disability, because if you were "REALLY ILL" or "REALLY DISABLED" you would have gone to the doctor more frequently.
2. You should confirm with your doctor that he or she is supportive of your claim. If your doctor is not supportive of your claim, you may want to change doctors. If your doctor doesn't believe you're disabled or she believes that too many people are taking advantage of the system, she may not be a strong advocate for your position. If she isn't a strong advocate, and doesn't identify in her records why you cannot work, the records will undercut your claim.
3. You should keep in mind the big picture. The focus should be on how your medical condition or diagnosis impacts your ability to hold a job. It is not enough, to just say, I have "heart disease" or "diabetes", you have to explain to your healthcare providers how your condition(s) is impacting your activities of daily living and your ability to work.
4. You need to understand what theory of disability you are arguing. Are you claiming that you meet a listing, which means that you have a medical condition that meets certain characteristics. If you are over 50 or closer to 55, do you meet the grid criteria, which looks like work history, age and education. If you are looking at impaired functional capacity, you will be focusing on how your condition impacts your ability to function and work.
If you are able to follow these tips, your chances of receiving social security disability should improve.