1. KEEP WORKING FOR AS LONG AS YOU CAN.
I encourage everyone to continue to work as long as they can. There are several reasons for this
recommendation. One reason is that I believe judges are more sympathetic to people who have
toughed it out for as long as they can. Another reason is that Social Security claims can
sometimes take years to win.
2. FILE FOR DISABILITY AS SOON AS YOU STOP WORKING.
If you delay in filing your claim you may lose back benefits.
3. ALWAYS APPEAL.
Receiving a denial letter can be discouraging. Sometimes people decide to go back to work, only
to discover that they simply cannot do the work. As a result they sometimes miss the deadline for
filing an appeal. They must then start the process all over again. It is easier to file an appeal and
then drop it than it is to have to start the process all over again.
4. FIND A DOCTOR AND GO TO HIM/HER AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN.
The key to most cases is support from a doctor. There is no subsitute for a private doctor who is
willing to support your claim for disability. The law provides that the opinion of a doctor who has
seen you for months or years is worth far more than the opinion of a doctor who has seen you
only once or twice.
If you cannot afford a private physician try every available public or charitable source. In
Spartanburg County these sources include the Spartanburg Regional Hospital Emergency Room,
the Mary Black Hospital Emergency Room, Spartanburg Area Mental Health Center,
Spartanburg Regional Hospital Family Practice Clinic, ReGenesis, and St. Lukes Free Medical
Clinic. If you are a veteran you can try the nearest VA Clinic. Again, these sources are not as
good as a private physician. And most of these places will not fill out any sort of disability form
for you. But going to them will at least help document your problems, and that you are trying to
get help for them.
5. TELL THE DOCTOR ABOUT ALL OF YOUR PROBLEMS.
After suffering from problems for a number of years some people will stop mentioning them to
their doctor. They figure that it's something that they will just have to live with, so there is no point
in mentioning it. This is a mistake. Social Security will not consider problems that you have not
mentioned to your doctor on a regular basis.
6. CONSIDER SOUTH CAROLINA VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION.
S.C. Vocational Rehabilitation is supposed to help people with disabilities find jobs. My
experience is that they are rarely successful. They also tend to turn people away if they find out
they have filed for disability. But that does not mean they are not worth a try. You have nothing
7. SAVE COPIES OF ALL WORK EXCUSES, DISABILITY FORMS, ETC.
Doctors records rarely say much about a patient's limitations. But this is the type of information
that Social Security is most concerned with. Doctors will often put far more information on
disability forms than they will in their office notes.
8. NOTIFY SOCIAL SECURITY OF ANY CHANGES IN ADDRESS.
I have had numerous case where people missed appeal deadlines because the denial notice went
to their old address. In such such cases they end of having to start the claim process all over
SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY TIPS.
Office located in Spartanburg, S.C. Serving all of Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina (Social Security Only)
including: Anderson, Boiling Springs, Chesnee, Chester, Clinton, Columbus, Cowpens, Duncan, Forest City, Gaffney,
Gastonia, Greenville, Greer, Hendersonville, Inman, Kings Mountain, Landrum, Laurens, Lyman, Rock Hill, Rutherfordton,
Saluda, Shelby, Spartanburg, Spindale, Tryon, Union, Wellford, Whitmire, Woodruff.