How to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
The application process for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can be difficult, especially when you don’t have a social security lawyer by your side to address any questions or concerns.
What are Social Security Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability benefits are monthly payments given to individuals by the United States government for support. Individuals who receive these payments must have a total and long-term (more than one year) disability that prohibits them from working.
Social Security Disability benefits are unavailable for those with only partial or short-term disabilities. In these cases, it is recommended to find another form of support whether it be reaching out to your employer, relying on family members, or utilizing savings until you can return to work.
How Do You Qualify?
The qualifications for the Social Security Disability program are specific.
First and foremost, you must match the Social Security specific definition of total disability:
- You cannot carry out the work and activities you did before.
- A new career path is impossible due to your medical condition(s).
- And, your disability has already or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
The reason the definition is so specific is that the Social Security program assumes that working families can get other resources for short-term disabilities. Generally, your condition has to limit your basic movements like lifting, standing, walking, sitting, and remembering for you to qualify for Social Security benefits.
Another precondition is that the Social Security program covered your previous career. If it was not, you are unfortunately ineligible for Social Security benefits. You must also have been working for a long enough period recently to qualify. If you have been unemployed for an extended period, there may be some hurdles to overcome during your application process. You must have earned enough social security work credits to qualify.
How Can You Apply?
To apply, you will need to provide several documents and forms relating to yourself and anyone else who would profit from your possible benefits. Keep in mind that everything must be presented in the original form when applying in-person. The office will take copies of all your documents and return the originals to you before you leave.
The paperwork includes:
- Social Security number and proof of age of yourself and any other benefiting parties.
- All contact information of your doctors and specialists that have taken care of you thus far pertaining to your disability.
- Complete medical records including the dosages of your medications and any test results.
- Information about your former workplace and the routine activities that you carried out.
- Your most recent W-2 form or a copy of your federal tax return.
- Proof of marriage, if applicable.
If you are missing any of these documents, start contacting the necessary offices immediately. A Social Security benefits lawyer at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can also provide some advice when it comes to collecting your documents. Once you have gathered all the original copies of these forms, you can apply either online or directly at your local Social Security office.
How Can a Social Security Lawyer Help?
You should contact a Social Security benefits lawyer as soon as you find out that you are disabled in accordance with the social security definition. Although Social Security Disability lawyers are not required for the application process, they are familiar with the paperwork and can help you along the process.
Social Security lawyers at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can also help you if your application is denied, which happens more often than you would expect; around 60% of initial claims are rejected. Even the smallest mistakes can jeopardize your chances. An extra pair of experienced eyes can help you avoid this and save you the grief of going through an appeals process. If you did not hire a Social Security lawyer during the application process, it is imperative to get in touch with one during the appeals process.
If you have any questions regarding the social security benefits program, application or appeals process, contact our Social Security lawyers for a free consultation at 866-MICH-LAW. There is no obligation for a case evaluation, and no fee is charged unless a recovery is made.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.