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Download here for only $9.95 as a printable e-book, or

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or the Lupus Foundation of America

Disability Workbook for Social Security Applicants
(8th edition, September 2012)

by Douglas M. Smith, Attorney at Law

The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) has called the new 8th Edition of the Disability Workbook for Social Security Applicants "an invaluable guide for understanding and navigating the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) system." The book has won the LFA's highly respected Seal of Approval.

The new 130 page Disability Workbook highlights recent Social Security Administration (SSA) rules that promote quicker disability decisions. It also outlines the fundamentals of SSDI, the application process, how to prove a claim for disability benefits, and how to appeal an unfavorable SSA decision.

The book includes Internet addresses at appropriate places in the text to give readers access to important extra reference material - another new feature.

The Workbook critically analyzes SSA's Internet SSDI claim process and compares the Internet process with the personal services available through a local Social Security office.

The new 8th Edition provides in-depth worksheets to organize and simplify the steps of presenting a claim. It discusses questions people frequently ask, refers to useful Social Security Administration (SSA) publications, and discusses what happens after an award of benefits. (These after-award subjects include continuing disability reviews, dealing with overpayments, and getting help from SSA to resume work).

Thousands have used past editions of the Disability Workbook for Social Security Applicants, to help them fill out and advance their SSDI claims.  

About the Author 

The author, Douglas Smith, is an attorney who has practiced disability law since 1983. His experience includes civil and criminal trial work. Doug is married and has two adult children and four grandchildren.


In addition to disability law, he engages in mediation and conciliation. As mediator he has helped resolve workplace disputes involving people with disabilities.


Doug received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C., and an undergraduate degree in history from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas.


He belongs to the State Bar of Texas, the Maryland State Bar, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives.


Doug also has served as a member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council of the Lupus Foundation of America, and helped in development of Social Security’s new Listing of Impairments for Lupus.


He served on active duty with the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

For further information, contact Physicians’ Disability Services, P.O. Box 312, 4848 Lemmon Avenue, Suite 100, Dallas, Texas 75219.

Readers say about previous editions . . . 

Rosemarie Bulik-Winston, Green Valley, Arizona (2002): I cannot say enough good things about attorney Douglas Smith's Disability Workbook. As a social worker with lupus, I had reached the point where I could no longer work, and thought that my social work experience would be an asset to me in my disability application. But when faced with the actual application, I became completely overwhelmed. 

Fortunately a friend put me on to Doug's book, which was invaluable. It showed me how to organize my claim, illustrated what a medical report that is acceptable to Social Security should look like, provided forms to help me put it all together. I believe it was because of Doug's suggestions that my claim was approved on my first try (up to 50% of first claims are denied, I have heard). 

My doctor also appreciated the information on how to write a good medical report. He knew I was sick and could not work but he did not know how to get that information across in a way that was acceptable to Social Security. This book is well worth the cost, is informative, empowering and gets results.

Paul W. Nolan, Attorney at Law, Baltimore, MD (2002): Anyone who is considering applying for Social Security disability benefits should order this book immediately. I am attorney and have been representing Social Security claimants for over 20 years. 

The biggest problem most of my clients have is the overwhelming amount of information that you must provide to Social Security. Mr. Smith's book explains why each piece of information is needed for a successful result on your claim.

I have been using this book since its 1st Edition and I have never been disappointed. The most important part of the book is the section with six worksheets where you can assemble all the information you will need for your application. Even the most disorganized person will be able to use these invaluable worksheets. Many of my clients come to me after completing these worksheets and the initial interview goes twice as fast.

For successful applicants, the appendices on Continuing Disability Reviews and the Ticket to Work Act are completely up to date and provide excellent guidance.

In short, I give this book the highest rating for both its plain language approach and its superb contents. More self-help books should be this easy to use and useful.

David Morton, M.D., Little Rock, AR (2002): Disability Workbook provides useful basic information about Social Security disability. 

. . . its greatest strength lies in the way it can help the reader organize their medical and other disability information. For example, there are blank forms that can be completed by the reader regarding what kind of medical problems they have (impairments), the doctors they have seen, the hospitals they have been in, the medications and therapy received, their daily activities, and their work histories. 

By getting organized ahead of time with this kind of information, those filing for disability can save themselves a lot of time and trouble. This book is a good companion purchase with Nolo's Guide to Social Security Disability.

Major health groups have recommended previous editions of the Disability Workbook including: 

American Lung Association
Chronic Fatigue Immune Disorder Syndrome Association
Fibromyalgia Assn. Greater Washington
Interstitial Cystitis Association
Lupus Foundation of America
National Stroke Association
Parkinson's Disease Foundation
& others ...


[Physicians' Disability Services, Inc.]
Pds-Third Floor Publishing, LLC
Douglas M. Smith, Editor

Post Office Box 312
4848 Lemmon Avenue, Suite 100,
Dallas, Texas 75219
Telephone: (214) 363-5374
E-mail: dfacts@earthlink.net
© Pds-Third Floor Publishing, LLC 1998-2012 all rights reserved


Last Revised Monday, October 15, 2012 , 4:38 PM CST

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