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How can you prove you have a disability?

Social Security Disability (SSD) isn't the easiest benefit to gain access to. You have to fill out numerous forms and make sure you have all the right documentation prepared for the Social Security Administration (SSA).

You may have heard that many people have their initial applications for disability benefits denied. Don't worry because there are ways you can build a strong application and make your case.

How does the Social Security Administration define a disability?

To be able to apply for Social Security Disability, you will need to show that:

  • You can't do the work you did before you became disabled
  • You aren't able to adjust to other kinds of work due to your disability
  • You will die from your disability or suffer from this disability for at least one year

If you meet these qualifications, then you can apply knowing that you should be able to receive benefits.

How can you prove your disability?

You will want to show a few different things to prove your disability. Provide evidence such as:

  • Doctors' or specialists' opinions along with assessments
  • Make sure your impairment is listed in the SSA's "Blue Book" of conditions. If it isn't, you should provide additional medical records to show why your condition is disabling
  • Get nonmedical evidence ready. This includes letters from friends and colleagues, videos, photographs, letters or data collected by a vocational expert

It's already difficult living with a disability, so show the SSA why that impairs your ability to work. With good evidence of your disability and support from medical providers and others in your life, you'll have the best chance of an approval.

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