A Guide to the Process of Filing for Social Security Disability

filing for social security disability
Share this article:

Filing for Social Security Disability (SSDI) can be a long and winding process. But with the right information and guidance, the entire application process can be more manageable. Here is the most important information on filing for social security disability.

Who Do I Contact?

To begin the SSDI application process, you should contact the Social Security Administration (SSA). You can do this by visiting your local SSA office, calling their toll-free number (1-800-772-1213), or applying online through the SSA website (www.ssa.gov).

What Documentation Is Required?

When applying for SSDI, you will need to provide various documents to support your claim. These may include:

  • Medical records: Detailed records from your doctors, therapists, hospitals, clinics, and caseworkers about your impairment(s), including medical history, clinical findings, diagnosis, and treatment.
  • Work history: Information about your past work, including job titles, dates of employment, and a description of your duties.
  • Education and training: Details about your education and any job-related training you have received.
  • Personal information: Your Social Security number, birth certificate, and proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency.
  • Financial information: Details about your income, assets, and resources.

Getting Professional Assistance

Gathering the necessary documentation can be time-consuming and challenging. However, there are several resources available to help you:

  • Medical providers: Your doctors, therapists, and other healthcare professionals can provide you with the required medical records and may be able to assist you in completing any necessary forms.
  • Social Security Administration: The SSA can provide guidance on what documentation is needed and how to obtain it. They also offer a “Disability Starter Kit” that includes a checklist of the information you will need to provide.
  • Disability advocates and attorneys: Experienced disability advocates and attorneys can help you navigate the application process, ensure that you have the necessary documentation, and represent you in appeals if needed.

Understanding the Definition of Disability

The SSA considers you disabled if you have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death, and that prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA). SGA is defined as the ability to earn a certain amount of money per month, which is adjusted annually. It is essential to understand that the SSA’s definition of disability is strict and differs from other programs, such as short-term disability or Veterans Administration benefits.

The Importance of Medical Evidence

The SSA relies heavily on your medical records to determine the severity of your impairment(s) and how they affect your ability to work. It is essential to provide detailed, up-to-date medical records from all your healthcare providers, including doctors, specialists, therapists, and hospitals. These records should include your medical history, diagnosis, treatment plan, and any limitations or restrictions resulting from your impairment(s). If your medical evidence is insufficient, the SSA may require you to undergo a consultative examination with an independent medical provider to assess your condition further.

How Can I Help a Family Member or Friend Apply?

If you have a family member or friend who needs to apply for SSDI, there are several ways you can help:

  • Encourage them to start the application process as soon as possible, as delays can result in lost benefits.
  • Assist them in gathering the necessary documentation, such as medical records and work history.
  • Accompany them to appointments with the SSA or medical providers to provide support and help communicate their needs.
  • Help them understand the application process and what to expect at each stage.
  • If their claim is denied, assist them in filing an appeal and consider seeking the help of a disability advocate or attorney.

The SSDI Application Process

Step 1 – Get The Starter Kit

The SSA offers a “Disability Starter Kit” that provides an overview of the application process and includes a checklist of the information you will need to provide. You can obtain this kit from your local SSA office or download it from the SSA website.

Step 2 – When to Apply

It is essential to apply for SSDI as soon as you become disabled. Delaying your application can result in lost benefits.

Step 3 – Where to Apply

Most SSA offices conduct claims-related business by appointment. Call your local office to schedule an appointment or apply online through the SSA website.

Step 4 – Checklist for Your Interview with the SSA

Before your interview with the SSA, review the checklist provided in the Disability Starter Kit to ensure you have all the necessary information and documentation.

Step 5 – Fill Out the Worksheet

The SSA will provide you with a worksheet to help you prepare for your interview. Fill this out thoroughly and accurately to ensure a smooth application process.

Step 6 – Keep in Mind

Keep in mind that the SSA denies more than two-thirds of all initial claims for disability and more than 80% of all first-level appeals (reconsideration appeals). If your claim is denied, don’t give up; consider filing an appeal and seeking the help of a disability advocate or attorney.

Contact Benefits Claim for Help with Filing for Social Security Disability

If you need assistance with filing for SSDI, Benefits Claim is here to help. Our experienced team of disability advocates can guide you through the application process, ensure that you have the necessary documentation, and represent you in appeals if needed. To learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation, visit our website and contact us for help with how to file for Social Security disability.

Subscribe to get more info
on government assistance

Share this article:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.