Getting denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can be a challenging experience. On top of the emotional turmoil of worrying whether you’ll get it back and be able to cover the bills, you have to deal with bureaucratic processes that can drain you and cause major headaches.

Your plight isn’t uncommon. According to data from the SSA, most people have their initial applications denied, only to have to go to a hearing to appeal the decision.

It’s important that you have all of your paperwork and documentation in order for this process since lacking a piece of evidence can lead to another negative decision. Here are the absolute necessities to submit to the hearing office at least 7 days prior to your hearing.

  • Your work history – make a list of your job duties for each of your occupations over the last 15 years. 
  • Medications – make a list of all the medications you currently take and what each of them is prescribed for.
  • Healthcare providers – make a list of every healthcare provider you have seen since your disability period began.  This includes doctors, specialists, hospitals, mental health, physical therapy, etc.
  • All new medical evidence – this may include things like additional doctor’s visits, prescriptions, treatments and therapies, and other documentation of your medical condition.  Medical records are the single most important evidence to support disability.
  • Medical Opinions – If your doctor has made opinions about your limitations, things you must avoid, things you cannot due, weight restrictions, need for walking aids, etc… make sure to get a copy of his recommendation are have the doctor prepare a letter.  Disability attorneys typically have forms for your doctor to fill out in support of your disability claim.

Make sure your record-keeping is organized and thorough for the best results.

An attorney can help you straighten out the things that may have caused your denial the first time, and can help you make sure you’re prepared to make your appeal as thoroughly as possible. It’s not easy getting stuck with making an appeal, but preparation will be an asset to help it go as smoothly as possible.