If you have a disability that prevents you from working for at least 12 months you may be eligible to receive disability benefits after filing your application with the Social Security Administration (SSA). It is important you fill in the application form correctly and provide all the supporting medical information which proves you are disabled. Applying for disability benefits is not an easy task but there are some resources available that can help you through the application process.
Disability Starter Kit
The SSA provides a disability starter kit which is available for applicants to access online. The disability starter kit helps you to prepare for your disability interview or for an online application. It is available for both adults and children under the age of 18 years.
The starter kit gives information about the information that is required and specific documents that you are asked to provide with your application. It also provides some more general information about disability benefits and how decisions are made when awarding or denying a claimants application.
Every Disability Starter Kit contains the following:
- a fact sheet that answers questions that those applying for disability benefits will need to know the answers to before filing an application;
- a checklist of all the documents and information that will be requested from all disability benefits applicants;
- a worksheet designed to help the claimant gather and organize the information that is required when submitting a disability benefits claim.
The fact sheet provides answers to the following questions.
- What can I expect during the appointment?
- What can I do to speed up the process?
- Can I automatically get Social Security disability benefits?
- How does Social Security make the decision?
- Will my personal information be kept safe?
- What if I am more comfortable speaking in a language other than English?
- Where can I get more information?
The checklist includes the following:
- medical records you have in your possession which you should bring to the interview;
- workers’ compensation information, including details of the settlement (if applicable);
- names and dates of birth of your spouse and minor children;
- dates of marriages and divorces;
- check or savings account number, including the bank’s 9-digit routing number if you want a direct deposit for your disability benefit checks;
- name, address, and phone number of a person the SSA can contact if you cannot be contacted;
A medical release Form SSA-827 (Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration) may be included with your package. It needs to be completed then signed and dated with a witness’s signature.
If you can’t complete the application online, you should complete the “Medical and Job Worksheet –Adult” and bring it to your interview
Typically, because your doctor is an important part of the process when applying for disability benefits you should arrange an appointment with your doctor first. Your doctor will be asked to send your medical records to the SSA as well as a statement about any limitations you have. If you think a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) test will be required to support the fact that you are either too physically or mentally disabled to work you can ask your doctor if he or she is prepared to complete a RFC form and file it with the SSA on your behalf.
When you attend the doctor’s appointment you will need to tell your doctor about your disability and that you are in the process of filing for disability benefits from the SSA. Your doctor will need to assess your limitations. As most doctors don’t have too much time set aside for each patient you can write down a short and clear list of your limitations which your doctor is likely to skim through quickly.
If your doctor agrees with your list, you can ask for a statement to be compiled for the SSA. If your doctor asks for a form to complete, you can hand over an RFC assessment form which, when completed, can be submitted to the SSA as part of your disability benefits application.
Disability Benefits Help
At Disability Benefits Help (DBH) we provide valuable information for anyone applying for Social Security Disability benefits and for those who have had their Social Security disability claim denied. At DBH we explain the Social Security Disability application process and we offer help finding a disability attorney to work on your behalf to get the disability benefits you deserve.
DBH does the following:
- help people determine if they qualify for social security disability benefits;
- provide useful information on how to navigate the difficult process for applying for a social security disability benefit;
- provide information on finding an independent and participating attorney who subscribes to the website to help with the disability benefits claims process. The attorney can evaluate the applicant’s case, may suggest what the chance there is of getting the application approved and how long the claim’s process takes to complete.
Start Your Disability Application Today
Before you begin your application for disability benefits you must be absolutely sure that your disability is going to last for at least 12 months as this is a key requirement for eligibility to receive disability benefits. As soon as you have established that this is true then you can start your initial application with an attorney. You may first be offered a free case evaluation before the attorney begins work on your case.