If you have been denied disability benefits for your herniated disc, then you have 60 days to file an appeal with the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Your appeal should include as much supporting evidence as possible, including new test results and more feedback from your physician about the amount of work you are capable of performing.
These three tips will help you to ensure that you are putting together the strongest appeal possible.
Tip #1 - Consider Other Side Effects
Depending on the level of severity of your condition, as you learn to cope with your herniated disc you might discover that you are changing the way you move to avoid aggravating your condition.
As a result you might be causing pain to other areas of your body.
For example, to avoid straining your back you might be using your arms more, and over the course of trying to perform your tasks at work you could end up injuring your shoulders because of the increased burden.
When thinking about your appeal, think about the side effects you are dealing with. In some cases, side effects can also include side effects from treatment, too, so make sure you discuss with your doctor how your treatment is affecting you.
Tip #2 - Residual Functional Capacity (RFC)
If you did not include a residual functional capacity form in your initial application, make sure that you work with your physician to include one in your appeal.
The RFC is a document that outlines the maximum amount of work that you are capable of performing given your diagnosis.
Since every case is different, this is your opportunity to outline your specific condition and how it impacts your ability to work.
Make sure you include any reactions to treatment or side effects to the medications you’re taking.
The RFC can give the SSA administrator an idea of how your herniated disc is impacting you specifically so that the determination is not based on generic guidelines from the Blue Book.
Tip #3 - Obtain Further Testing
Months can pass between filing your disability benefits application and receiving a response.
In that time, your condition may have changed.
If that’s the case, then you should work with your physician to make sure that you have completed as many exams and tests possible so that you are providing all of the results to the SSA with your appeal.
Get a Free Case Evaluation
The process of filing an appeal for disability benefits can be stressful, so you might consider working with a disability attorney to help streamline the process.
While there is no guarantee that working with a disability lawyer will guarantee that you will win your appeal, having an attorney advocating on your behalf can greatly improve your chances for success.
Not only does a disability attorney understand the evidence needed to build a strong appeal, he or she will be able to help you gather that evidence so that your appeal is as strong as possible.
There is very little risk to hiring a disability attorney, as you do not have to pay anything upfront and you only pay if you win your case.
To learn more about how a disability attorney can help you, fill out a free case evaluation form.