If you are suffering from a disability, you may be unable to continue working. Unfortunately, this often means that your concern is focused on how you are going to support yourself financially when it would be better suited focusing on your health. Social Security disability benefits were created to help people suffering from disabilities by providing financial assistance. The process for obtaining these benefits may seem daunting to those who are unfamiliar with the procedures. Fortunately, we are here to help by providing answers to three important questions.
How Do I Apply for Disability Benefits?
Applying for disability benefits can be done in one of two ways. First, you can apply online, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/. The second option is to call the Social Security Administration’s toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. By calling this number, you can schedule an appointment to file a disability claim at your local Social Security office or set up an appointment for someone to take the claim over the phone. Special accommodations can be made for those who have difficulty hearing. Once you schedule your appointment, the Social Security Administration will send you a Disability Starter Kit to help you prepare. This kit can also be found online. The interview process typically takes about an hour.
It is important to note that you are entitled to have a lawyer represent you when you apply for Social Security disability benefits. Doing so may improve your chances of obtaining an approval on the first try. Experienced attorneys can help guide you through the process quickly and efficiently since they are familiar with the rules and regulations that apply to your case.
When Should I Apply for Disability Benefits?
Knowing when to apply for disability benefits is an important aspect of ensuring that you obtain the benefits you deserve when you need them most. All applicants should ideally apply for benefits as soon as they become disabled. The time for processing an application for benefits can vary, but generally ranges between three and five months. The quicker you get your application in to the Social Security Administration, the sooner you will receive your benefits.
What Information Do I Need When I Apply for Disability Benefits?
Another way to speed up the time it takes to obtain disability benefits is to ensure that you file a complete application on the first try. This means providing the Social Security Administration with all of the information they will need to decide on your claim without waiting for the Administration to request this documentation. Examples of the information that the Social Security Administration may need include the following:
- Your social security number
- Your birth certificate
- The names, addresses, and phone numbers of the doctors, caseworkers, hospitals, and clinics that treated you
- The dates of your visits to these treating physicians
- Your laboratory and test results
- Your medical records
- A summary of where you worked and the kind of work you did
- A copy of your most recent W-2 Form
- If you are self-employed, a copy of last year’s federal tax returns
In addition to this supporting documentation, you will also need to provide the Social Security Administration with various other forms. These forms include information about your medical condition and how it affects your ability to work and a permission form for your health care providers to send the Social Security Administration confidential information about your health.
When you are ready to begin the process of applying for benefits, it is important to seek assistance from an experienced attorney. We can help you obtain the benefits you deserve. We encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation at 888-904-6847.