Applying for social security disability benefits may seem like an intimidating process but with the correct information, the application process becomes far less daunting. Below is a guide to get you started.
When Should I File A Claim?
The purpose of disability benefits is to provide disabled individuals with financial assistance since they are no longer able to work as a result of their disability. Therefore, you should file a claim for disability benefits as soon as you believe that your disability prevents you from engaging in full-time work.
How Do I File A Claim?
When seeking benefits through either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you must first file an application.
- Apply Online
The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) website provides informative and useful information about the entire disability benefits process. Applications can be found at http://www.ssa.gov/applyfordisability/ .
- Apply In Person
You can either call or go into your local SSA office, where a representative will be able to assist you in completing the application. Visit www.socialsecuritylaw.com to find your local SSA office.
- Hire a representative
Though the majority of people file an initial application for disability benefits on their own, it is important to realize that the knowledge and experience a representative can bring to the table may be invaluable. When considering whether or not to obtain representation, it is worth noting that disability attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means that they are not entitled to payment unless you are awarded benefits.
What Type Of Information Will I Need?
When filing your claim you will need to supply a variety of information. The following is a list of information you should be prepared to provide at the time you file your claim.
You will need:
- Your social security number and proof of age.
- Medical records from all your current medical providers.
- Employment information dating back 15 years.
- Information about your income and assets.
- Information about the daily activities you partake in.
- The date you believe your disability began, commonly referred to as the onset date.
If your initial application is denied, which happens to approximately 60% of all initial applications, make sure to appeal, and do so in a timely manner. Click here for information about SSA’s appeals process. Remember that seeking social security benefits can potentially be a very lengthy process. Stay positive and prepare yourself for what may be a very long haul.
For more information on the application process please visit www.ssa.gov.