Here are 7 tips to win your Missouri Social Security Disability case:
1. File an appeal.
I know this one seems obvious, but I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen a prospective client call or come in who had an application denied in the recent past and failed to file a timely appeal. You only have sixty days to appeal a Social Security Disability denial in Missouri and only sixty days to file for reconsideration in Arkansas and Oklahoma. If your Arkansas or Oklahoma reconsideration is denied you only have sixty days to file your appeal as well.
You can’t win the appeal unless you actually appeal. There is no benefit to waiting to file the appeal (or reconsideration). Hire a lawyer to do this as soon as you get your denial.
2. Accurately describe your prior work history and daily activates.
There are a lot of forms to fill out in the application process. The Work History and Functional Capacity forms are very important. In fact these forms contain some of the largest areas for people to lose their case. It is important to think before answering these questions (if you are over the age of 50, call me for a free consultation before you turn this in)
Examples from the Work History
Overestimating or underestimating the amounts you frequently lifted as part of the job.
Not listing physical demands of a job that may appear fairly sedentary.
Underestimating the amount of time each day you stand, walk, reach etc.
From the Functional Capacity (Day in the life) Forms
Combining a week of activity into a single typical day
Not explaining accommodations you have given yourself (ex. housework that you used to do in a couple hours now has to be broken up over several days etc.)
3. Get medical treatment (and documentation) for the conditions you claim are disabling .
It is a tough one because of the unavailability of reasonably priced medical care but you must explore every possible place for treatment. Your local county health department may be able to help with doctors who accept sliding scale payments. You should apply for Medicaid and look into the Affordable Care Act.
4. Follow prescribed treatment.
If your doctor tells you to do something and there is no evidence of you attempting to do so, you will likely have a problem.
5. Be consistent with doctors.
You should mention all problems to all your treating doctors. Statements like you are not having any problems with a condition or medication make future claims of such problems in the hearing look suspect. Another example, telling one doctor you are having a certain problem and then telling another doctor you don’t have that problem.
ALJ’s frequently asks questions he or she already know the answers to. Being inconsistent about things you have reported to SSA or a doctor even on trivial matters will have a negative effect on your case.
7. Prepare for the hearing.
Prepare with the lawyer who will be handling your case at the hearing (not an assistant or paralegal). I always schedule a face-to-face meeting with my disability clients in my office prior to his/her Social Security disability hearing. Usually, I try to meet several times prior to the actual hearing date to discuss the hearing procedures and to practice answering the questions that are likely going to be asked. This is not a rehearsal or attempt to get “canned” answers, but rather to get my clients to understand the hearing procedure so they know what to expect and are not overwhelmed with the process.
The Krebs Law Firm LLC offers a free case evaluation if you have questions about your Social Security disability claim. Many people may be worried that they do not have the money to pay for a Missouri disability lawyer or Northwest Arkansas Social Security disability lawyer, but we only handle Social Security cases on a contingent fee basis. In other words, there is no fee unless we are successful in getting you the benefits that you deserve. If you would like to speak to Jason Krebs and his staff simply call (417) 883-5886 for your free case evaluation or to discuss your appeal today! Do not delay as you only have 60 days to ask for a reconsideration if you live in Arkansas or Oklahoma and 60 days to ask for an appeal in Missouri.
(Don’t worry I won’t sell or give your email to anyone)