Following these six simple steps will help ease your way through the Florida Social Security disability benefits process:
- See your doctors regularly and cooperate with their treatment plans: The Social Security Administration requires medical evidence to prove you are disabled. The best way to ensure that you have that evidence is to visit your doctors regularly and to tell them about all your symptoms. You should see your doctors as directed and comply with their treatment plans because the Social Security Administration expects that your goal is to become healthy again so you can go back to work.
- Monitor your symptoms: Your symptoms (pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, etc.) and how they affect your daily activities are important indicators of why you are unable to work. A symptom diary is a good way to keep track of your symptoms.
- Keep your records organized: In order to be awarded Florida Social Security disability benefits, you will need to complete a significant amount of paperwork and provide supporting documentation. At a minimum, you will need to gather all of your medical records and records from your past employers. To assist you in the organization of your records, you should adopt a filing system that is easy for you to understand and store these documents in a safe place that you can access easily. These records will be essential to you throughout the Florida Social Security disability claims process and, therefore, I recommend that you organize them early on.
- Keep your records current: It is important to update your records on a regular basis. For instance, if you treat with a new doctor, add the doctor’s business card to your files. Keep track of your medications by keeping all of your empty prescription bottles.
- Cooperate with the Social Security Administration: It is important to promptly and completely comply with the Social Security Administration’s requests for additional information or documents. Similarly, make sure you attend any medical or psychological examinations scheduled for you by Social Security.
- Plan for your disability hearing: You will probably be required to testify at a disability hearing before a judge before your claim for Florida Social Security disability benefits will be approved. You can prepare for your testimony by writing down any activities that you used to do, but can no longer manage because of your condition. These can be hobbies and leisure activities, or household chores, for example. You can also make a list of potential witnesses — friends, family, neighbors, co-workers –who can testify on your behalf regarding how your disability affects your daily activities. It is important for you to learn about the hearing process before your hearing date.
If you would like more advice on navigating the Florida Social Security disability benefits system, contact dedicated Ocala disability lawyer Claudeth Henry for a consultation.