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A long time ago in a galaxy not so far, far away, the DDS-Disability Determination Services denial rate for initial SSDI claims was only about 30 percent. The denial rate has doubled since the 1960s making Heermans Social Security Disability Law Firm, more relevant than ever, in helping people get their claims reviewed for approval and not be “shelved” or ignored. Not coincidentally, America’s population has also aged considerably since the 1960s, and just because people are living longer, does not necessarily mean they are living better lives. Bad health conditions can take their toll. Because more Social Security money must go to retirement entitlement programs, less money is available for disability claims. As a result, DDS officers in the greater Memphis metro area, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana will scrutinize these claims like never before, to weed out the weak ones. 

Much like the force surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together, macroeconomic factors which are difficult to understand have increased the Social Security Disability denial rate. So, no matter what individuals do or don’t do, it’s almost impossible to win a DDS hearing without a Heermans disability lawyer. However, to be fair, most people who apply for disability also want to know they have done everything possible to help themselves in the process and not have any regrets down the road. This is why, it is only fair, to discuss 5 different ways you can help yourself or a loved one, to win a DDS hearing without a lawyer. 

If you do decide to, “go it alone” and represent yourself in a disability claim, be sure to remember this; a Social Security Disability attorney from the Heermans Social Security Disability Law Firm is a game-changer in many ways. Before the lawyer says or does anything, the DDS officer knows the claimant cares about their case and isn’t just going through the motions. Additionally, a Heermans Social Security Disability lawyer knows how to build an effective case for you, and knows how to present your case in a compelling way. Finally, if the DDS officer still denies the claim, which can be more likely if you represent yourself, your lawyer has a head start on your appeal.

Arrive on Time

Woody Allen once said that 80 percent of life is just showing up. No matter what it takes, arrive at the DDS hearing on time. Have a transportation plan, a backup transportation plan, and probably another backup transportation plan if you have to arrive in person. Otherwise, make sure your phone or computer is charged up, working properly, and your video and audio connection link is working. 

For disability victims, showing up may be the most challenging portion of the DDS hearing. As mentioned, simply getting from Point A to Point B, or having the right tech equipment, takes quite an effort. Moreover, many disability victims have head injuries, making it difficult to remember appointments and other such matters. Finally, if the DDS hearing happens to fall on a bad day, challenging tasks can become almost impossible.

A Heermans lawyer can usually cover for their disability victims who run late, especially if they call and explain their predicaments. Unrepresented people (ie..without an attorney) are on their own. Remember that in this context, there’s no such thing as fashionably late. There is just late; and this is never a good thing.

Behave Appropriately

We usually tell people to wear what they would wear to church. Do not overdress, since that’s a clear signal you are putting on airs. Additionally, do not underdress, it’s a sign of disrespect for DDS the office. And it should go without saying, do not dress evocatively…best not to provoke any unnecessary bad attention to yourself. 

During the hearing, speak clearly, and more importantly, listen carefully. Furthermore, always keep a cool head. A meltdown at a DDS office might make you a TikTok star, but it won’t help your claim.

Once again, these things are easier said than done. Many disability applicants feel like being summoned to a DDS hearing is like being summoned to the principal’s office. Try your best to relax.

Lawyers can have a bad reputation as being mouthpieces for their clients. Like a ventriloquist for a doll. They do most of the talking while their client sits quietly. If you’ve never been to a DDS hearing before, you have no idea what a tremendous advantage a Heermans attorney can be. Your lawyer handles everything, and you can sit peacefully in the background and let your lawyer speak on your behalf. There is tremendous power in this on its own!

Show Your Disability

Despite appearances, DDS officers are people too. Most people expect disabled people to act a certain way. In a perfect world, people wouldn’t have such assumptions and prejudices. But, we don’t live in a perfect world. It is ok to show your disability. After all, this is the reason why you are applying for social security disability. If you sometimes need a cane or walker, use a cane or walker. If you have PTSD, take your time answering questions. Don’t be embarrassed. But also be careful not to act like this. Such acts might fool gullible school nurses and overprotective moms, but they don’t convince anyone else.

Know Your Case

Attorneys handle the legal, medical, and vocational aspects of your case. If you don’t have a lawyer, you must master all three areas yourself. This task is very difficult, to say the least, but it’s not impossible.

Legally, keep the primary elements of a disability case in mind. The condition must be fatal or expected to last at least a year, it must prevent you from working at your old job, and it must prevent you from obtaining any other job.

Medically, there’s a difference between a Blue Book condition and a non-Blue Book condition. Blue Book conditions are presumptively disabling, if the symptoms are severe enough. No presumption applies in other cases. On a related note, the CE (Consultative Examination) medical report must contain certain words and phrases. It must omit other words and phrases.

Vocationally, disability applicants must show the DDS officer they have no realistic job prospects. Perhaps you’ve applied for jobs and didn’t qualify for them.

Disability victims have enough to deal with. They don’t need to put more things on their plate, like taking a crash course in Social Security Disability law. This area might be the best reason to partner with a Heermans lawyer at this point.

Be Open About Your Symptoms

If a grocery store cashier asks how you’re doing, most people say “fine,” even if they aren’t fine. When a DDS officer asks how you’re feeling, be open about your symptoms and how those symptoms affect your day-to-day life. At the same time, don’t go too far in the other direction and exaggerate your symptoms. Just be upfront and answer questions honestly. Sometimes, this honesty begins by being honest with yourself.

If you do not want to “go it alone” and are interested in more information about the disability claim process, you can receive a FREE disability claim evaluation. Simply contact the disability lawyers in Memphis at the Heermans Social Security Disability Law Firm 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via our disability text line at (901) 244-0057 More value added FREE information can be found in our online articles. 


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