February 22, 2020

How do I Improve my Chances at Winning Early?

You can significantly increase your chances at an early approval for your traumatic brain injury case if you do everything possible to make your claims file as complete as possible.

When you file your application, your claim will be developed by a claim adjudicator who works for the state government (not the federal government) under a contract that each state has with the Social Security Administration.

Adjudicators work very hard but they do not have any special training in medicine or in reviewing medical records.

Make Sure all Addresses are Accurate

Adjudicators start by requesting medical records from all of your health care providers.

  • the adjudicator will use the doctors’ office addresses you provide them
  • if a medical request comes back “undeliverable” the adjudicator rarely has time to follow up
  • if the medical provider ignores the adjudicator’s request, the adjudicator will not follow up

You can help by verifying the addresses for all doctors, hospitals and medical providers who have treated you.  Let your providers know that you have filed for disability and encourage them to respond quickly to the adjudicator’s request for medical records.

Evidence that You Meet a Listing

Adjudicators are also looking for listing level cases.  The listing for traumatic brain injury requires certain evidence.  If you can encourage your doctor(s) to write a letter tracking the language of the listing and explaining why you meet the listing, your chances of approval go way up.

Evidence of Work Activity Limitations

Another tactic that can help your case involves asking former co-workers or supervisors to write letters to the adjudicator describing the problems you had with reliability, job performance and attendance.  The main issue in your disability case has to do with your capacity to work so evidence from people who saw you struggle at work can be very relevant.

Be Specific When You Fill Out Forms

While medical evidence is the most important element of your disability claim, you can help yourself by properly filling out the various forms required by Social Security.  Since SSA defines disability in terms of work capacity, you should try to include specific mental and physical activity limitations arising from your brain injury into all your answers.

Speak SSA’s Language

The key to winning early is to understand what SSA wants and to speak their language.  Adjudicators are looking for listing level conditions and confirmation from your doctors.

Remember that you may be turned down because your condition is not listing level, or because the evidence for listing level impairment is not clear.  Do not give up – you can still win.  Make sure to file your appeal within 60 days from the date you received your denial.

If you would like a free case evaluation, please contact us by using the form on this page.