If you have a serious spinal injury it will be unlikely that you will be fit enough to work or earn a living. If you meet the Social Security Administration’s criteria you may be able to apply for SSDI benefits, a federal disability benefit program which helps to pay for basic expenses as well as medical treatment while you remain disabled and unable to work.
You need to be aware of what proof you need to provide with your application to guarantee approval. An SSA attorney can help you work through what can seem a complicated and time consuming process.
Criteria for Applying for SSDI Benefits
Federal SSDI benefits may be paid to people with genuine medical disabilities, who do not expect to work over at least the next 12 months and have had sufficient work experience to have paid insurance in the form of social security payroll taxes according to their age. Age, educational level and previous work experience all have some weight in determining whether someone is approved for receiving benefits. As for the level of medical disability, the SSA has a list of medical conditions, both physical and mental, that are considered disabilities, but the actual severity of these conditions is important in determining eligibility for federal benefits.
Medical Documents Needed in Your Application
The following documents should be provided with your application to satisfy the medical disability criteria for SSDI benefits. The SSA relies heavily on the information supplied by medical professionals who are familiar with your condition.
- current medical status of your spinal injury as determined by a doctor or the neurologist or other specialist dealing with your condition;
- medical history supplied by your doctor or doctors including how your spinal injury occurred;
- contact details of doctors and other medical specialists who have treated you or diagnosed your condition together with locations and names;
- a medical assessment supplied by a doctor on your ability to perform meaningful employment similar to your most recent work experience over the next 12 months.
Other Information You’ll Need
Most of the other important information you need to supply relates to your work history. You will need to supply your birth certificate and social security number to identify who you are. You will need to provide a copy of your last W-2 form or copy of most recent federal tax returns (if you are self employed). You should provide a breakdown of your last work experience over the years you have been working. This should include where you worked, what you did and how long you did it for. If you left employment, you may need to show that your spinal injury was the reason for doing so.
How a Social Security Attorney Can Help you with your Application
An experienced SSA attorney can help you with your application and can provide essential legal assistance if your application is denied. The SSDI application process can seem time consuming, but getting your application submitted promptly with all relevant documentation can help to get it approved without unnecessary delays.