When calling to discuss potential representation in a claim for Social Security disability benefits, regardless of claim type, it is helpful to have some information at the ready so that we can best assess your situation.
Do You Already Have a Claim in Process? Have You Already Been Denied?
For starters, we’ll need to know if you already have a disability benefits claim in progress, whether it’s pending a decision or recently denied. If your claim has been denied in the past 60 days, please be prepared to provide the date on your denial letter, as this alerts us to any looming deadlines.
Your Work History Matters
Next, we need a little information about your work history. If you’re currently working, we’ll need to know your hours and gross monthly income, as well as a brief description of the type of work you’re doing. Either way, we’ll also want to know some basics about your work history over the last 10 years at least. If you’ve worked at a lot of different jobs, you might want to think about where you worked and when before calling. But we don’t need detailed job descriptions, so it’s not like you need to have a resumé ready!
Sometimes we might need to know a little more about your current financial situation, as well. This is because one benefit type, SSI, is available only to people within certain income and asset categories. Marital status, current income (even from sources besides jobs), receipt of any other public benefits (like SNAP or Medicaid), ownership of any real estate or vehicles, and current living arrangement might come up.
What Are Your Current Disabilities?
Once we get these basic questions answered, we’ll normally have a good idea of what disability benefits you might be eligible for. If it looks like you’re eligible, it’s finally time to talk about what sort of disabilities you have. This can be an uncomfortable conversation if you’re not used to talking about your limitations, but please keep in mind that we’re just trying to understand your unique situation the best we can to determine how we might be able to help! Here are some things you might want to list in advance so you’re ready when we ask:
- Current diagnoses;
- Current healthcare providers (which may include people who aren’t doctors, like therapists, nurses, or physician’s assistants);
- Any hospitalizations or ER visits in roughly the past year (if you have to, you can guess when these occurred and how long you were in the hospital);
- Any tests, exams, or procedures performed as part of addressing your conditions (this might include lab work, x-rays, or surgeries); and
- Current medications.
Why Can You No Longer Work?
Finally, a question that is bound to come up at some point is why you can’t do your past work. Sometimes this might seem pretty self-evident, but understanding how your conditions actually affect your ability to work is vital for us. Similarly, if you’re under the age of 50, we’ll need to understand how your conditions prevent any sort of work out there, not just the past work you’ve done.
Our Disability Attoneys Are Here to Help
This is a lot of information, and it’s totally okay if you don’t know everything when you call. But if you keep the above in mind, you’ll be fully prepared to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your case.