When Your Disability Impacts the SSDI Application Process

Navigating the SSDI application process with a disability can be challenging – especially when you’re dealing with physical limitations or symptoms like brain fog, fatigue, and lack of motivation. These symptoms can make it hard to focus, organize documents, or even follow through with the application process.

You certainly aren’t alone in that struggle. It’s incredibly frustrating that the application process is so complicated for anyone, let alone for people with significant physical limitations. But we’re here to help guide you through each step so you can apply for SSDI with as much ease as possible.

Understanding the Basics of the SSDI Application Process

First, it’s important to know what SSDI is. SSDI provides financial assistance to people who can’t work because of a medical condition that’s expected to last at least one year or result in death.

To qualify, you need to have paid into the Social Security system through your taxes and have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability.

So that means many applicants are asking for SSDI in difficult circumstances. Millions of people have to fill out these forms from a place of fatigue, pain, and other limitations.

And yet, many people successfully get their benefits every year. So you aren’t alone and shouldn’t let the challenge stop you.

Getting Organized

One of the toughest parts of applying for SSDI can be just getting started, especially when you feel overwhelmed or fatigued. Here’s how to make it a bit easier:

Break Down the Task: Don’t try to do everything at once. Break the application process into smaller, manageable steps. For example, one day you could focus on gathering your medical records, another day on your work history. The SSA looks for complete and detailed accounts, so focusing your efforts and taking your time on each section might also help you have more success with your application.

Use Checklists: Create checklists for each part of the application. This way, you can keep track of what you’ve completed and what still needs to be done.

Set Reminders: When dealing with brain fog or memory issues, it’s helpful to set reminders on your phone or write notes to yourself about deadlines and tasks that need completing. It can also help to bring in a family member or other support system to help you keep on track.

Gathering Your Medical Records

Collecting your medical records is a key part of the SSDI application. Here’s how to handle it:

Request Records in Advance: Medical offices can take time to send out records, so request them as early as possible.

Be Specific: When you ask for your records, be specific about needing information that shows how your disability affects your ability to work. This could include doctor’s notes, test results, and lists of medications.

Check in with yourself: Calling around to different hospitals or doctors offices can be exhausting. Make sure to take time to check in with yourself and take breaks as needed. Overworking can often exacerbate symptoms and can also affect your morale.

Filling Out the Application

Filling out the SSDI application can be especially daunting, but you do have access to some resources to help.

Use Online Tools: The SSA offers an online application process that you can complete at your own pace.

Ask for Help: Don’t hesitate to ask a family member, friend, or advocate to help you fill out the application. Sometimes just having someone else there can make the process less stressful.

If you feel truly unable to fill out your application successfully, you may also use the help of an attorney. Our Memphis SSDI lawyers are available to answer your questions if you feel like you need more help.

Seeking Help in an Appeal

If you get denied on the first try, don’t give up. This is totally normal. In fact, the SSA denies the majority of claims on their first try. But you also don’t want to repeat the same mistakes over and over again either. So after a denial, you should appeal.

The SSA only gives you 60 days to appeal the decision. That’s when you should definitely get a lawyer to help. A great SSDI lawyer can make a world of difference for anyone who’s been denied – and that’s especially true for people struggling with physical and mental limitations due to their disability.

darrell-castleOur lawyers:

  • Guide you through the process. We explain each step and help you understand what’s needed for a successful application and appeal.
  • Handle complex paperwork. Filling out forms and managing documents is overwhelming. We take care of this for you.
  • Find problems or holes in your initial application. We determine what went wrong and help you fix the issue(s) once and for all.
  • Represent you in appeals. We help present your case in a way that increases your chances of success. We know how to speak with the appeals judges so you can have a professional, effective hearing.

Remember, You’re Not Alone

The SSDI application process can feel isolating, especially when suffering from symptoms and pain related to your disability. But you don’t have to do it alone. There are resources and people ready to support you, including our team of legal professionals who specialize in SSDI cases.

Taking the first step can be the hardest part, but once you start, you’ll be on your way to getting the help you need.

If you need to appeal an SSDI decision, or even if you just have questions, we’re here for you. Contact us today at 901-327-2100 or reach us online.