Disability benefits offered by the Social Security Administration or SSA is a familiar program for disabled individuals. Each year, an increasing number of individuals apply for disability benefits, however the complicated process can be difficult for people to understand. While some people are aware of the benefits the program provides, few people understand the application process itself.
The following information is intended to provide an overview about benefits, eligibility, the process of application, and more. It will present you with guidelines to consider as you determine the best steps to take based on your individual situation.
- SSD benefits are funded through taxes taken out of the pay checks of workers as automatic payroll deductions. Employers pay a matching amount of tax and a portion of the funds are governed by the federally run, Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA provides disability benefits to the many citizens who are recognized as disabled by the SSA based on their eligibility.
- Various parameters are evaluated by the SSA to determine whether a person is eligible to receive a disability benefit. Disability benefits are available under two different programs – Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
How does the SSA determine eligibility for disability benefits?
- The SSA receives millions of applications each year, but only about 30%of applicants are granted disability benefits. Although an individual may think of themselves as disabled, there are strict regulations followed by SSA to grant disability benefits.
- Per the SSA definition, a person is disabled when he/she is unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA). The reason can be due to an injury or medical condition that has left a person physically or mentally impaired. He/she may not be able to continue with their job to meet their financial needs.
- To be eligible, a disability should last for at least 12 months and the condition should lead to serious consequences or even death.
- A child under 18 years of age can fall under the child disability program. A child is determined as disabled when he or she faces physical or mental inabilities or a combination of both.
- The disability should be so severe that it sets limitations to the daily activity of the child. The disability should continue no less than 12 months and cause significant consequences including leading to death.
Required Information for Applying for Disability Benefit
Before you apply for Social Security Disability Benefits, there are a few important details which you must know. The information is categorized as personal information and family information, respectively.
Information about the applicant
Social security number and proof of age
- Contact details such as name, phone number, address, of the doctor, hospital. Details of other medical practitioners who have assisted you during your treatment.
- Detailed medication records along with dosages
- Detailed medical records from doctors, therapists, hospitals, and clinics related to your disability. Medical test results such as blood test, urine test, x-ray, CT scan, etc.
- A detailed report of your employer and your role as an employee in the organization.
- A copy of the latest W-2 form for those who are employed. And, for the self-employed, a copy of the Federal Tax Return and proof of payment.
Information about the Family of the Disabled
- Social Security Number of dependent family members who might be eligible for benefits.
- Proof of marriage if the applicant is married. Proof of previous marriage where applicable
- All the documents you need to furnish to the SSA should be original for the SSA officials to validate.
How to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?
There are three ways in which you can apply for SSD Benefits. Such as:
- Apply online at https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/forms/
- Apply by calling SSA at their toll-free number 1-800-772-1213. If you have hearing impairments, call SSA at TTY 1-800-325-0778.
- To apply in person, visit your nearest SSA office. Make sure to book an appointment over the phone before you go.
Documents Required for SSD Benefits Application
Along with your personal and family information, you will be required to provide the following documents when applying for Disability Benefits.
- Medical records– Pay attention to medical records as your case is mainly based on these documents. Maintain a separate file for all the medical reports received as a result of your disability.
- Schedule an appointment to visit your doctor. Collect all your medical records such as lab test reports and doctor’s prescriptions.
- Ask your doctor to mention the reason for your disability. He can shed light on the physical and mental impairment that has led you to become disabled. He should also mention the scope of the treatment, expected recovery, detailed medication listing, and the official medical term for your diagnosis.
- Education qualifications and work experience- Keep documents like education qualifications, special skills, and work experience handy. This will help the SSA to understand your capabilities to transition to a different type of job in another organization.
- Dependents– the individual will need to show the number of dependents they declare. The SSA office will determine the effect job loss on the applicant and on the dependents.
- They might also reach out to the disabled individual’s family and friends to understand the effect of the disability. They will also ask how the claimant performs their daily tasks.
Application Process for Disability Benefits
- If you find the process of applying for disability benefits demanding, then talk to an experienced attorney at Chermol & Fishman LLC. We are addressing hundreds of disability cases each year.
- Take time to recover while our experts manage your case and help you proceed with your disability application. We have successfully helped a wide range of clients with our expertise.
- Chermol & Fishman LLC stands apart from other firms because of our decades of experience in handling disability claims for a wide range of clients.