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©2019 Sarah M. Crosby

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  • Sarah Crosby

We often get questions about the application process. We hope these tips will help take the stress out of applying for disability.


First - consider if you qualify:


To qualify for disability you must have a severe impairment that prevents you from working, that has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months (or a terminal condition that will result in your death)


Second: Your doctors are your strongest source of evidence


The Social Security Disability application asks for information about any treatment you have received for your disabling condition. Although you know how your disability impairs your ability to work, Social Security requires evidence from your treating doctors to show how your conditions impact your life. Social Security needs to know HOW your condition impacts your life - not just that you cannot work. Your doctor may be able to explain your limitations or activities you struggle with, either in their chart notes or in a letter. However, a statement from your doctor that you are unable to work typically is not helpful because Social Security needs to know WHY you cannot work.


Your doctors are your strongest support for a successful disability case. If you are not treating your conditions that keep you from working, Social Security may not have enough evidence to find you are disabled. We completely understand if you're unable to work, the cost of seeing a doctor may be a concern for you and your family. We recommend looking into free or low-cost insurance options, including the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) to ensure you are receiving the treatment you need.


If a doctor prescribes treatment, it is important that you follow through on treatment. Social Security has recently changed their rules and can now consider if you do not follow what your doctor prescribes.


Third: We recommend keeping a notebook that contains the following:


1.) A list of the doctors, nurse practitioners, therapists, physical therapists, and other providers you have seen for your disabling condition. Include their office location where you were seen.


2.) A list of any hospitalizations or ER visits, including dates and locations.


3.) A list of any major testing or imaging (this includes diagnostic blood work, MRIs, CT scans, etc.) Keep a list of the dates of these tests and where they were performed.


4.) A list of medications you are prescribed.


5.) A log of how your disabling condition impacts your day. For example, if you have seizures, keep a log of the seizures - document the dates that they occur, the duration, the symptoms you experience after. The same documentation can be done for any number of disabling conditions - headaches, fatigue from MS, even debilitating pain.


Life is hard when you're disabled and this notebook will help you stay organized with your medical care. It will also ensure Social Security gets the medical evidence that will support your disability claim. Finally, it will help your attorney to make sure you are presenting the strongest case possible to Social Security.


Third: Set up a MySSA.gov account. You can set up an account online to be able to file for disability benefits online. This website will verify your identity. Once you have a login to MySSA, you can learn more about the benefits for which you are eligible.


You can apply online or you can also set up an appointment to make an application in person at your local Social Security office. To make an appointment with Social Security, call 1-800-772-1213.


Contact the Law Office of Sarah Crosby if you have any questions about your disability and the Social Security the application process.



  • Sarah Crosby

Updated: Nov 6, 2019


Are you off work, but not sure you are disabled by Social Security's definitions? We understand. The rules are complicated, but we are here to help you understand and navigate Social Security.


1.) Your disability must be expected to last for at least 12 months or be expected to end in death. If you break your arm and can no longer do your job for six weeks while you heal, Social Security is not the program for you. You might be covered by short term disability through your employer - check with your human resources department.

2.) If you have a disabling condition, but are still earning more than $1,220 ($1,260 in 2020) per month on average, you won't be f Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon. ound disabled. To qualify for Social Security, your condition must prevent you from performing substantial gainful activity (a fancy government way of saying you can't earn more than $1,220 per month). Social Security helps individuals replace lost income, so if you're still working and making more than $1,220 per month, you likely won't qualify. However, there are some nuances to this - so it is best to consult a lawyer who may spot issues like an unsuccessful work attempt. (We'll discuss that more later).


3.) Your age matters. If you're under age 50, Social Security will consider if you can do ANY kind of work you might be able to do - even if that work is easier than what you have done before. For example, if you're 47 years old and have been doing factory work on your feet all day all your life, Social Security will find you are not disabled if there is still work you might be able to do while seated. These rules change after age 50, depending on your work history.


If you have questions about your disability, please contact Sarah Crosby for a free case evaluation at 317-760-9293.


  • Sarah Crosby

Updated: Nov 6, 2019


Applying for disability can be daunting, but it does not need to be. Before making an application for benefits, gather the following information to help make the process easier:


1.) List of doctors you have seen recently for your disabling condition, including their name, phone number, and address.

2.) List of medications you are taking.

3.) List of jobs you have had in the last 15 years (for disability purposes, only the last 15 years are relevant, even if you have worked longer).

4.) Your spouse's Social Security information (your spouse's earnings may impact your benefits if you apply for Supplemental Security Income).


Having all of this information organized can help you with the application and give you peace of mind that nothing was missed.