3 Things That Can Help You Win Your Disability Appeal

There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to work because of illness or injury—except for having your social security disability claim denied. When that happens, you may think there is no hope of getting your appeal approved. That is simply not the case. Here are three things that can help you win your social security disability appeal.

1. Have your doctor write a letter on your behalf.

While you need to be sure to submit all pertinent medical records and paperwork dealing with your condition, having a letter from your doctor can actually help improve your case. Medical records only show one side of your condition. Your doctor, however, has seen you struggle as you come in for your appointments and knows you as a person. He or she can write a letter to the social security disability appeals board that can help them see just how much your condition actually hinders you. Of course, you will need to request the letter as soon as you find out you were denied. This will give your doctor enough time to compose the letter and get it to the appeals board before the deadline.

2. Demonstrate cooperation with your doctor and their prescribed treatment plan.

A big no-no when it comes to disability is failing to follow your doctor's prescribed treatment plan. If this was the reason your initial claim was denied, you could win your appeal if you demonstrate that you are following the treatment now. You will need to provide proof of your compliance, which can include testimony from your doctor stating that the treatment plan is being followed.

Another way you can win your appeal for non-compliance is if you meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • The treatment plan goes against your religion
  • The treatment plan would increase your financial hardship
  • The treatment is too risky
  • The treatment would require amputation
  • The treatment isn't being followed because of mental illness

All of these options require proof. You can't just say you aren't taking a medication because it goes against your religion. You have to provide documentation and, in some cases, even testimony from the clergy about how the treatment violates the tenets of your religious beliefs.

3. Make sure you are not making too much money.

If your social security disability claim was denied because you were making too much money when you filed, the first thing you need to do is find a job making less money. While it seems ridiculous that you have to quit your job so you can get disability, the rules are clear about how much you can earn from working while getting disability. As of 2014, if you earn $1,070 or more in a given month, you are making too much money to get disability. In order to win your disability appeal, you need to prove that you are making less than that amount every month.