How to Increase Your Chances of Getting Social Security, Disability and SSI

The federal government provides certain financial assistance for the elderly and those with disabilities. Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and Disability are the main programs that create stipends to meet the needs of these individuals. If you're applying for one of these programs, there are some ways to maximize your chances of becoming approved. Once you're approved for these programs, you get benefits for life. Take care, when applying, because the appeals process can be long and difficult.

Contact the doctors that your benefits coordinator will need to talk to as soon as you finish your application. Each doctor will have to fill out forms and give information regarding your case. Getting the information in, as quickly as possible, will help your application be processed quickly.

Request that your primary care physician write a Residual Functional Capacity letter. Your doctor should have the form available in the office. Ask your physician to explain in detail what kind of problems you're experiencing in terms of your mental function and physical abilities.

Write a letter to your benefits coordinator. Break up your day into 24 one-hour periods and explain in detail how your condition affects your life during that time. Document how well you can see, hear, experience physical sensations, stand and sit. Explain whether you can follow instructions and if you have difficulty concentrating. Do not exaggerate your condition but don't downplay it either. It's important that your benefits coordinator understands the extent of your condition.

Hire a lawyer experienced in Disability, SSI and Social Security benefits. Many attorneys will work on a contingency basis -- this means that you don't have to pay them until you receive your benefits. The salary your lawyer gets is a percentage of your benefits. Oftentimes, a lawyer isn't needed until the case goes to appeals; but if you need the benefits quickly, hire an attorney sooner. Lawyers also help keep an eye on deadlines and can guide you in filling out all the necessary paperwork.

Write a letter of dire need. Attach copies of any bills that are pending or overdue. Show account balances. Explain why you have no additional income. Give the letter to your benefits coordinator. It may get your claim processed more quickly.