Social Security Disability | Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits | SSD | SSDI | SSI

Benefit Application Process - Social Security Lawyers

Someone who is coping with a serious medical condition can find the process of applying for benefits very taxing and overwhelming. While can be very daunting to deal with the Social Security Administration, Social Security benefits provide crucial support to the disabled in their time of need. If you need help with the process, consider hiring an experienced Social Security disability attorney.

A Social Security lawyer with years of experience navigating the Social Security Administration presents your best chance of having your claim approved quickly and efficiently. Additionally, the amount your Social Security lawyer can be paid is capped by the Social Security administration, so you do not have to worry about running up giant legal bills to have this service.

When completing your disability application you need to have the following information available:

  • Your SSN;
  • Names and contact information for your treating physician(s);
  • Medical records with detailed notes from your doctor and any specialist or case worker;
  • Dates of any hospitalizations and doctor's visits;
  • Test results if lab work has been conducted;
  • A list of medications you are currently taking;
  • A copy of your latest W-2 form;
  • A detailed account of your work history including employers and type of work;

If you are planning to go through the process of applying for benefits on your own, it is best to start the application process by reading the Social Security Administration's Adult Disability Starter Kit. This information is an excellent primer on the process and even contains worksheets that you can fill in to help gauge the extent of your SSDI mental disability or SSDI physical disability. The packet will also help you make sure you have all information on hand that is necessary to apply.

How do you prove your disability? - Social Security Claims Attorney

The Social Security Administration will examine your medical condition and your ability to hold down a job when making a decision on your claim. Your Social Security disability determination will hinge on whether the medical information you submit with your application presents a disability so severe that you cannot hold down a job.

An experienced Social Security attorney can review your entire application, including your medical history, and may recommend that you visit a specialist in your condition before you submit your application to ensure the Social Security Administration gets a clear picture of what ails you.

Evidence you will need to present includes your complete, up-to-date medical records, lab test results, your doctor's diagnosis and prescribed course of treatment, as well as your doctor or social worker's opinion on whether you can handle the mental and physical rigors of a job, given your condition.

If you have not seen a physician recently and are worried about locating one you can afford, there are many doctors that serve low-income patients. To find one in your area, visit the HRSA - Find a Low Cost Medical Care Center site or contact your local health department.  A Social Security law firm can also put you in touch with low-cost health resources in your area.

Whether you are able to work also depends on what kind of job you hold. A person who works in a field that requires much physical labor, like construction, might have a lower bar to clear in terms of disability than a person who works in an office.

Filing your application with the Social Security Administration

You can apply for Social Security Disability Benefits or Supplemental Security Income benefits online or by calling the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213. However, the best way to apply is by hiring a Social Security attorney to fill out the paperwork for you. If you are not able to hire an attorney, it is best to file you application in person by visiting your nearest Social Security office. You can find the nearest SSA office simply by using the handy online Social Security Office Locator.

The application can now be filled out and filed online at the SSA's website, but for many reasons the process can run more smoothly in person at your local Social Security Administration office. Employees of the Social Security Administration tend to be well versed in all the issues and common questions that can crop up when filling out an application.

Once you notify your local Social Security Administration office that you hope to apply for SSDI or SSI benefits, you can schedule an interview that will take place either in person on on the phone. During that interview you can discuss the specific facts of your case and how they would be factored during the disability determination process. A Social Security lawyer can help you prepare for the interview to ensure you present your claim for SSDI or SSI benefits in the most compelling way possible.

If English is not your first language, the Social Security Administration can provide you with a free translator or interpreter. The SSA needs advance notice to arrange this service for you, however. You are also able to bring along a friend or relative to translate the meeting.

Filing the application is only the first step. The Social Security Administration will review your application, evaluate your case for disability and get back to you with the SSA's determination of your disability status. Typically, it can take three to five months to hear back from the SSA. But this number can vary depending on how long it takes for the SSA to receive your medical records and other documentation supporting your condition.

Many claims—more than 60 percent—especially where a SSD Lawyer or SSD Advocate is not present, are turned down at the initial SSD determination stage, so there can also be
a long SSD appeals process ahead of you.