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SSDI: Before You File Your Claim

Document Your Difficulties At Work

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  • If you can, get a copy of, or at least look through, your personnel file. Look to see what it says about a deterioration in your job performance. A personnel record can be strong evidence to back up your claim that you are unable to work.
  • If you haven't told your employer about your health condition, and you think you will be filing a disability claim, this may be the time to disclose your condition. To learn more, see: Disclosing At Work.
  • Tell your employer about the difficulties you are having working, or the time you can't work due to a medical situation. If this is the reason you use your sick or vacation time, let the employer know that as well.
  • If you haven't been doing this already, start keeping a Work Journal that includes:
    • How your health condition affects your ability to perform your job. Be specific about what your condition affects, and how.
    • Notes about each conversation with your employer about your health and how it affects your work. Include: the date, who you told, and what you reported.
    • Anything that indicates your employer is happy with your performance, as well as any actions which could seem to be discriminatory. To learn more about why to keep these notes, see: Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Start keeping track of people at work who witness the difficulties you are having because of your health condition. You may want to ask them to supply statements or affidavits confirming the difficulties you've been experiencing. See: Affidavits And Statements From Friends, Family And Co-Workers

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