Arthritis can be a crippling disability and may prevent you from earning a living if it has progressed too far without substantial relief. A disability like arthritis may be helped by applying for federal Social Security disability benefits (SSDI). Benefits may help pay for further medical treatment and basic daily expenses. An attorney can help you with your application and ensure you submit all the relevant documents requested by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Criteria for Applying for SSDI Benefits
The SSA assesses your eligibility for SSDI benefits according to whether you have met certain essential criteria. SSDI is paid to people with a known and documented serious medical disability who have already been in work for long enough to have paid sufficient Social Security insurance installments. A list of medical complaints that are categorized as ‘disabilities’ is held by the SSA, but other disabilities that may not be on the list are also recognized as long as they are described in detail by medical professionals.
Your disability must prevent you from returning to your normal work for at least the next 12 months. Your age and educational background together with assets and other income may all be taken into consideration with the two basic criteria of disability and work history.
Medical Documents Needed in Your Application
You should make sure you include the following information with your application. Remember that the SSA relies heavily on this information and its authenticity to make a decision on whether to grant you disability benefits.
- Name and contact details of your physician or physicians
- Names and addresses of medical centers, hospitals or clinics which you have attended in an attempt to treat your arthritis
- A detailed report by your doctor on the current status of your arthritis
- Informed opinion about your ability to return to the work you had been doing regularly in the recent past
- Detailed medical history relating to the onset and treatment of your arthritis
Other Information You’ll Need
Your work history must be provided in detail. The SSA will want to be certain that you have enough work credits in relation to your age and work experience. Information to be included with your birth certificate and Social Security number (for I.D. purposes) is as follows:
- Usual type of employment or self-employment
- Where you have worked
- Dates of employment
- Your most recent W-2 form OR your last or most recent tax returns if you were self-employed
How a Social Security Attorney Can Help You with Your Application
It can seem an arduous task applying for SSDI benefits. The whole process is certainly rigorous and lengthy. Poorly submitted applications may take much longer to process or be returned with an unfavorable decision. The best way of ensuring you get the right information to the SSA is to use a disability attorney throughout the procedure. If your claim is denied for any reason, then you will certainly need an attorney working to reverse the decision through an appeal.