Simplified Answer for How to Apply for Social Security Disability
Applying for Social Security disability can seem like a daunting task. There are, however, a number of helpful resources available that can guide applicants through the process. It is a good idea to allocate the time to properly research all pertinent issues, because this can help expedite things.
For individuals who are adept at using the internet, the disability applicant can be done online, with no need to set up an appointment. Applicants who would rather apply in person can call the Social Security Administration (SSA) to make an appointment, or contact a local Social Security office. There are also resources for U.S. citizens living internationally.
No matter how individuals choose to apply, the SSA requires the same information. The agency offers a handy checklist that can help applicants gather some preliminary details that will be used to complete the necessary Disability Report and Disability Benefits Application. This checklist is available online at http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/326.
The Disability Application will ask for basic information regarding family members, finances, and banking accounts. This includes the dates of any marriages and divorces; the name and date of birth of a spouse and/or minor children, information regarding military service discharge (if applicable), last year’s W-2 form (or income tax report if self-employed), and banking account information for direct deposits (if applicable).
The information requested in the Disability Report is more specific to the disability being claimed. This form requires the names and contact information of those who would be familiar with the applicant’s medical conditions. The agency may need to get in touch one of these people to help with the claim. Applicants are also asked to provide a variety of medical information, including the names, contact information, dates of treatment, and patient ID numbers for all relevant doctors, clinics, and hospitals; the names of medications currently taken, as well as who prescribed them; and the names and dates for medical tests and who requested that they be done. Some employment history will also be necessary. Applicants must provide a list of jobs held in the last 15 years prior to becoming unable to work, as well as information regarding workers’ compensation or insurance claims filed.
Disability applicants are also required to submit an authorization for disclosure to the SSA, which allows the agency access to all medical records, education records, and various other information related to the applicant’s ability to function and perform tasks.
Once these forms are submitted, the SSA will decide whether to grant Social Security disability benefits. The time it takes for the agency to make this determination can be lengthy, so it is a good idea to begin the process as soon as possible.