You’ve been paying towards social security your entire life, so it should take care of you when you need it, right? As nice as that would be, sometimes you have to fight for those benefits. Social security disability benefits can be in that “fight for” category.

So how do you go about getting it?

While you may think it’s a cut and dried thing, you might need a bit more help than you thought. To get you pointed in the right direction, here are nine tips for winning your social security disability benefits.

1. Apply ASAP

If you’re in a position where you think you’re eligible for social security disability, don’t wait to apply for it. Instead, file for it as soon as you can.

What’s the point in this? Saving yourself a lot of painful wait time.

The process for getting social security disability can take much longer than you think. Don’t plan on getting a response any time soon.

To save yourself the pain of trying to figure out how to bring in an income when you can’t work, apply as soon as you possibly can.

2. In Dire Need? Write a Letter

If your application is denied but you’re in severe need, you can write a dire need letter. This allows you to explain why you need the process to be sped up.

What constitutes a dire need? You’ll need something on the serious end of things to be considered for this speed-up.

Your mortgage, for example, depends on your income. If you truly can’t pay your mortgage and your home will be foreclosed because you’re waiting for disability, mention that in your dire need letter.

Utilities that must be paid, required prescription medications, and more may constitute enough of a reason for your process to be hurried along.

You’ll have to be convincing if you want to win this request, though. Lots of people send in letters describing why they need the process to be sped up. In order to be taken seriously, your letter must be well written and you’ll need a little luck on your side, too.

3. Denials Can Be Appealed

If you were denied disability, don’t give up hope. Denials can be appealed.

These appeals shouldn’t be done on your own though. If you try to go it alone, you may take a misstep that costs you the money you could otherwise receive.

If you plan to appeal a denial, get an attorney on your side. He or she will help you navigate the process as smoothly as possible. Your attorney will know exactly what to do to give you your best shot at winning.

If you’re told to take the appeal route, don’t get discouraged. Most people have to go through appeals to get disability.

That being said, just because it’s common, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get some legal help.

4. Mentally Prepare

Before jumping into the disability claim process, make sure you’re mentally prepared. You’ll likely be in it for the long haul, so don’t get your hopes up that things will be approved quickly.

You may feel intimidated or nervous when you meet with claims reps. Prepare ahead of time to be as confident as possible.

5. Have Medical Records Ready

You’ll need your medical records during the application process. You may be able to speed things along if you simply include them when you first apply.

If you don’t submit your records, the Social Security office will have to track them down. This process can take months, so save yourself some time and just get them yourself.

Make sure you get all applicable records! Leaving one or some out could ruin your efforts to speed things up.

6. List all Sources of Treatment

To help the Social Security office get your records if you haven’t sent them, make sure you provide all important information. This includes a detailed list of every place you’ve received applicable medical treatment.

You may receive more benefits if you provide information for more time. So make sure you send information for medical records for as long a time period as you can.

7. Keep a Journal

You’ll need to provide details regarding your disability. This will be hard if you haven’t kept track of them.

This doesn’t mean simply stating “I haven’t been able to walk for months.” You’ve got to be detailed. Describe how you are disabled and include dates, times, and symptoms.

Besides your physical ailments, record the things you aren’t capable of doing because of your disability.

8. List Mental Symptoms as Well

It’s easy to focus on physical inability when applying for disability, but don’t stop there. If you’ve had any mental symptoms, list those on your application too.

Disability comes in many forms, so include everything you can.

9. Be Honest

It doesn’t do well to exaggerate your symptoms. You also shouldn’t dumb them down. Both things can hurt your application.

Instead, just be honest. Tell them what it’s really like living with your disability. The more honest you are, the better it is.

Receiving Social Security Disability Isn’t Impossible – Let Us Help

Winning social security disability may feel impossible at times, but it’s not. There’s always a chance you could get the help you’re looking for.

To give yourself the best chance possible, keep these tips in mind. Knowing the system before you jump into it can really go a long way, so do all you can to help the system along and you may just get those benefits.

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