A long list of disability supports and services that can make your life a little easier and may make your disability application a little stronger.
Tip: Some of the documents list below do not wind up in your medical records. Don’t expect your lawyer or Social Security to collect all of these for you. Many are things you will most need to collect them yourself.
The BEST Documentation
The best documentation will always be function forms, letters, and medical records from your doctor:
- How to Get a Great RFC Function Form
- Sample RFC Forms
- How to Get a Great Letter
- Sample Doctor Letters
- How to Get Medical Tests
- How to Have Great Doctor Visits
- If Your Doctor Won’t Fill Out Paperwork
Student Loan Disability Discharge
You do not need to be on disability to qualify for a disability discharge. Tip: Don’t send Social Security the letter stating your discharge was approved. This won’t help. Send them a copy of the form your doctor filled out that got you approved. That can be a big help.
Intake and assessments from home care and home aide programs can be extremely helpful in documenting your functioning needs. Tip: Ask your case worker how you can request a copy of your full file including all assessments. If you don’t collect this yourself, Social Security will never see it.
- State Home Aides
- Other Home Care Programs
- How to Collect Home Aide Documents
- Sample Intake Assessment
- Sample Care Assessment Tool
Wheelchairs, walkers, canes, hospital beds, shower chairs, bathtub rails, and other equipment. Assessments for medical equipment can be a big help. Tip: If you cannot afford to fill the prescription, that is OK. The assessment for medical equipment can still help your disability case. After you are approved, then you can get insurance to help pay.
- How to Get Medical Equipment
- How to Get an Assessment
- How to Get an Electric Wheelchair Through Insurance
- How to Document Medical Equipment While Applying for Disability
- Sample Wheelchair Letter and Assessment
Caseworker & Social Worker Assessments
In some cases, Social Workers and Case Workers can help you fill out disability paperwork. Here’s some special forms that can be an extra big help:
- Disability Forms You Can Print and Bring Your Social Worker
- How to Find a Social Worker
- Sample Medical Summary Report
- Sample Social Worker Disability Assessment Form
Letters you can request, along with sample copies of letters:
- Letters from Friends, Family or Other Caregivers
- Will Support Letters Help or Hurt My Disability Application?
- Personnel file
- Other Workplace Documentation
- Sample Support Letter from Your Employer (Current or past)
Vocational rehab programs are sometimes able to provide free testing on your job skills, limitations, and ability to work.
Accommodations can make your life much better and much easier. The paperwork from your accommodation request can also help your disability case:
Different services are available in different areas. Call and ask in your area to see what might be possible. Places to contact:
- Home modification programs
- Transportation programs
- Centers for Independent Living
- Palliative Care Programs
- Meals on Wheels or Home Meal Programs
- Community based mental health centers
- Veterans Programs
- Homeless Agencies
- Churches and religions organizations
- Area Agency on Aging and Disability (offers service to younger people too)
- Local nonprofits
Get it Documented!
All this great documentation won’t help you at all if Social Security never sees it. Here’s how you can get documentation:
🍭 Don’t expect your lawyer or Social Security to collect this documentation for you. You will most likely need to collect it yourself.
🍭 If you receive any kind of services through a nonprofit or other local agency, you may be able to request a copy of your case file from the agency running the program (if a case file exists)
🍭 If any kinds of intake or assessments have been done, results of assessments can be very helpful. For example, when you apply for state home aides, they may conduct a long interview, and the results of this should be documented somewhere.
🍭 You can also request a letter from a caseworker their describing your disability needs.
Working With Your Doc
🍭 Some programs have forms for your doctor to fill out. You can ask if you can have a blank copy of the form to bring your doctor yourself.
🍭 If there is a form for your doctor to fill out, it can be extremely helpful if you get a blank copy, set up an appointment, give it to your doctor at the very beginning so there is plenty of time, sit with your doctor while they fill it out, and then get a copy right in this moment.
🍭 If you don’t sit there with your doctor while it gets filled out, it may get lost in a pile of papers somewhere and never get filled out at all!
🍭 Make sure to submit your document so that it actually gets in your file (read this page even if you have a lawyer): How to Submit
Thanks for Reading
🌷 This page is part of the free online guide: The Sleepy Girl Guide to Social Security Disability
🌷 Learn more about this topic here: “I’m Applying for Disability. What Other Help Can I Get?”
🌷 Page Updated: 8/1/19
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