Whether you are filing an initial Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim or pursuing benefits on appeal, there are certain things you'll have to prove.
SSDI is only an option for people who meet specific requirements. If you have the work credits to be eligible for disability benefits, then you'll need to prove:
- You cannot do the work that you did before you become disabled
- You're unable to do other work considered as substantial gainful activity because of your disability
- Your disability will last for at least one year or is likely to result in your death
Before you can receive disability benefits, you'll also need to prove your disability onset date. This is typically a date that occurs before you apply for benefits. If approved for SSDI, benefits begin five months after your onset date. If you're eligible for any potential back payments, they're calculated from your onset date.
You Must Present Evidence to Support Your Claim
During the SSDI appeals process, you may present additional evidence at various stages: reconsideration, hearing, Social Security Appeals Court, and federal district court. Generally, this supporting documentation may be:
- Medical evidence. Any relevant medical information provided by a reputable healthcare provider should be included in your appeals file. Your attorney will help you gather updated lab test results, diagnostic test results, doctors’ notes, hospital records, and additional aspects of your medical record.
- Non-medical evidence. Medical evidence may definitively establish that you have a certain disabling condition, but it may not prove you're unable to work. You will also need to present evidence showing how the disability impacts your life. For example, possible documentation includes statements or testimonies from friends or relatives, testimonies from vocational experts, or daily references in a personal journal.
Also consider evidence that details how you suffer from a permanent and complete disability, life before and after the onset date, and relevant employment and job task histories.
Partner With a Social Security Disability Lawyer
Knowing what you have to prove to win an SSDI benefits appeal is one aspect, but actually doing it is another matter altogether. Fortunately, a knowledgeable Social Security disability lawyer can help with both. The legal team at Gibbons Leis, PLLC will guide you through each stage, assuring you have what you need to position your case successfully.
To learn more about your rights, please call or start a live chat to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.