To get Social Security Disability benefits, you need to show that you are disabled. It takes more than just making the claim yourself or providing anecdotal evidence. To provide you with benefits, the government has to know that you really are disabled in some fashion, whether it is a mental or physical disability.
What type of proof can you get? A few examples include:
- Direct statements from a medical professional who did an examination or provided treatment
- Your own medical records
- Direct statements from your personal physician
- Records from a government agency
- Records, letters or statements offered by a State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency counselor
- Personal statements from co-workers or employers
- Official certification pertaining to your disability
- Records of the incident that caused the disability, if it was caused through an accident
As a general rule, the more proof you can provide, the better. If you provide letters and statements from doctors and people you worked with, and then you back that up with medical records showing what condition you have and how it impacts your life, that goes a long way. The medical records can also indicate if your condition is supposed to get better over time or if this is something that is likely to last for the rest of your life. All of this factors into what benefits you need and what you can get approved for.
This process may get complicated, and it definitely can take time. Many people get denied. No matter where you are in the process, you must understand your legal rights.