Assistive technology (AT) refers to any product, system, equipment, or software used by disabled persons to improve their working and daily lives. From special joysticks and keyboards to specialized computers and communication systems, millions of Americans currently rely on various forms of AT.
Unfortunately, some users are unaware that their disabilities may qualify them for disability insurance. Moreover, some feel that their disabilities may make it too hard to fill out the application.
Luckily, with the help of the new (and free!) Windows 10 upgrade, AT us-ers can apply for disability benefits more easily than ever before. Continue below to learn how.
Features of Windows 10
Few things are more frustrating than being hindered by unnecessary load times and complications when using a computer. Especially for AT users, fast, reliable interfaces are essential to making daily life efficient and stress-free.
Luckily, the new and improved Windows 10 is being offered as a free update for all AT users with a Microsoft device. The new operating system contains many new features that improve ease-of-use and connectivity, especially for those who rely on assistive technology. Improvements include:
- Cortana. This feature, which was first introduced in Windows 8.1, allows users to access anything in their computer by using text or voice commands. From pictures, videos, and documents to online data, Cortana uses advanced search technology to direct you to whatever you need.
- Edge. Faster, simpler, and clearer than Internet Explorer, Edge is the newest internet browser available in Windows 10. Not only is it more efficient all-around, but its updated engine adapts seamlessly to whatever AT your computer uses. This makes browsing the web and entering information much easier than in previous versions.
- The Action Center. Unlike previous versions of Windows, the Action Center provides an easy-to-use notification system personalized to your needs. You can set reminders for appointments, events, or daily tasks with the press of a button, all of which appear on your computer and any other connected Microsoft devices.
Assistive Technology and Social Security Benefits
With the help of Windows 10 and your AT, applying for Social Security benefits is a much simpler process. While it is still recommended that you receive help from a Social Security representative or attorney before beginning the process, you can start on your own by:
- Gathering your medical paperwork
- Gathering work history and/or income history
- Filling out your application or scheduling an appointment
For the Social Security Administration (SSA) to find you disabled, they must verify how severe your impairment is. All previous medical tests, doctors’ diagnoses, hospital visits, and medication lists can help you to show disability. These can be found and filed onto your computer with ease by using Cortana to search for digital records.
The SSA uses this information to determine what disability benefits you may be eligible for; it would be either SSDI or SSI. Those who have contributed enough money to Social Security in their working years are eligible for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI). Those who have low to no income are eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Applications can be started online by using Microsoft Edge to visit the SSA’s main website. Information can be entered by typing, by voice via an AT, or by calling the SSA’s toll-free number and dictating information for them to enter. Appointments to fill out the application in-person can also be made by calling your local Social Security office.
Contacting a Social Security Attorney
If you are interested in applying for disability benefits, it is also wise to consider speaking with a Social Security disability attorney. A disability attorney is an irreplaceable resource when filing out applications, keeping paperwork organized, and aiding you in the appeals process if necessary.
Working with an attorney can have many potential benefits. To give your-self the best chance at receiving the assistance you deserve, speak with a disability attorney today.