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    Proving Disability for Social Security Benefits

    Filing for disability benefits can be a confusing and frustrating process. The Social Security Administration (SSA) receives millions of disability applications every year, and they reject roughly half of them. Living with a disability that prevents you from working is challenging enough. Proving your disability affects your ability to work is its own challenge and essential to a successful claim.

    The SSA requires individuals to meet three specific criteria to qualify for disability benefits. They will only approve disability claims for individuals who:

    • cannot perform work that they used to
    • cannot adjust to different work because of a medical condition AND
    • have suffered or are expected to suffer from their disability for at least one year

    Successful applications must demonstrate all three conditions. Including evidence of your disability from medical sources dramatically increases the chances of approval. Records from doctors visits can show the extent to which medical professionals acknowledge your disability. These might include diagnoses, prescribed medication, treatment plans, test results, and more.

    Defining Disability

    The SSA outlines the various disabilities that qualify for benefits in their “Blue Book.” It includes both physical and mental conditions. However, proving disability for a mental condition is often far more challenging than a physical one. Even with a qualifying diagnosis, you must prove that the severity of symptoms render you incapable of full time work.

    The Blue Book is filled with legalese and medical jargon, making it difficult to understand. At Bowman Disability, we help clients understand how they fit into its designations. We’ve worked on every kind of disability case. So we know what kinds of evidence administrative law judges require for various ailments.

    Impairments included in the Blue Book

      Musculoskeletal system
      Skin disorders
      Special senses and speech
      Endocrine disorders
      Respiratory disorders
      Back impairments
      Cardiovascular system
      Congenital disorders
      Digestive system
      Neurological disorders
      Genitourinary disorders
      Cancer (malignant neoplastic diseases)
      Immune System disorders
      Cognitive Issues
      Mental Health
      Autism


    Those experiencing the most severe symptoms of their condition are often approved immediately. However, the approval process may take more time if your symptoms are less severe or harder to demonstrate. Our firm can parse out even the most complex cases and fight for the benefits that are rightfully yours.

    Non-Medical Evidence

    If current medical evidence is insufficient, the court may appoint a consultative examiner to obtain more information. These examiners may require information about your educational background and work history to prove your disability. A disability lawyer can help you identify gaps in your evidence before filing, reducing the chance of these kinds of delays.

    Records or letters from previous employers can help prove your claim. Coworkers, caregivers and family members who are familiar with your condition may also be of help. Ask them to document the various ways in which they’ve seen your disability impair your ability to work. Even a personal journal that includes notes on your disability can help prove your claim. 

    We Can Help Prove Your Disability

    It makes sense to feel intimidated or confused if you’ve never applied for benefits or had your application denied. Should you apply for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)? Do you need a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment? You don’t have to answer these questions or make sense of the acronyms alone.

    At Bowman Disability, we can clear up the confusion to help you focus on what matters most. We’ll help you build the strongest possible case to prove your disability and receive the benefits you deserve. Unlike national firms, we meet with or at least speak to all of our clients before the day of their hearing. Our clients aren’t just another number, they’re a person who needs our help.

    We’ve dedicated our lives to becoming the best disability lawyers in Norfolk, VA and the Hampton Roads area. We know how difficult it is to live with a disability. So we do everything we can to minimize the stress that comes from being asked to prove that disability. Reach out today for a free case evaluation so we can get you the help you need.

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