The Social Security Administration (SSA) denies many of the claims submitted by applicants for disability benefits. If you received a denial letter from the SSA, you have the right to file an appeal for reconsideration. For the second go-around with the SSA, you should follow four helpful tips to bolster your disability appeal.
- Gather more medical evidence
- Confirmation of medical costs and lost income
- Complete a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment
- Discover the strength of your appeal
Gather More Medical Evidence
Pancreatic cancer receives a listing in the SSA Blue Book, which lists the medical conditions that qualify for disability benefits. However, you also have to meet the standards established by the SSA for the symptoms of pancreatic cancer.
If you failed to convince the SSA that the development of pancreatic cancer forced you off the job, you can use the appeal for reconsideration to gather and submit more compelling medical evidence.
Some pancreatic cancer claimants present the results of physical examinations to confirm the presence of pancreatic cancer. The team of medical examiners at the SSA wants to see more evidence than simply the result of a doctor’s examination.
Since pancreatic cancer is called the “silent killer” by healthcare professionals, you should undergo several imaging tests to determine whether the cancer has spread, as well as discover if any treatment regimens have started to work. You can take medical evidence to another level by providing the SSA with results of CT scans that take detailed cross-sectional photographs of the body.
Confirmation of Medical Costs and Lost Income
Proving that pancreatic cancer has forced you out of a job is just the first step of the disability appeals process. You also need to file paperwork that shows how much diagnostic tests, treatment regimens, and rehabilitation programs have cost you.
Even if your employer provides health insurance coverage, chances are good that you have to take care of at least some of the medical costs. Make copies of every receipt and attach the receipts to your reconsideration for appeal. Make sure to include copies of the last 12 months of bank statements to verify how much income you have lost because of pancreatic cancer.
Complete an RFC Assessment
Another key component of an appeal for reconsideration is completing an RFC assessment. A disability claims examiner who works for Disability Determination Services (DDS) reviews your medical records to determine the level of physical activity that you can perform.
You might have to undergo a medical examination at DDS to give the examiner more information concerning your residual functional capacity. If the DDS decides that you cannot complete the standard functions required by your job, the medical examiner analyzes your information to determine whether you can work in another occupation.
If you are not satisfied with the decision made by the medical examiner at the DDS, you should undergo a detailed RFC assessment that is conducted by your physician.
Determine the Strength of Your Appeal
Because the disability appeals process can take months to unfold, you should work with an independent Social Security lawyer. An attorney can help you gather the medical documentation you need to convince the SSA about the severity of your pancreatic symptoms.
A Social Security lawyer can put you through a free case evaluation to find the holes in your disability appeal. Since most Social Security attorneys get paid on a contingency fee basis, you do not have to spend any upfront money to retain legal counsel.