Applying for Social Security Disability
Social Security Disability payments are available to people who have worked but are no longer able to find or hold a job because of some type of disability that could be physical, mental or emotional. There is a rather involved process for applying for Social Security Disability and depending on the disability, especially if it falls into the emotional or mental category, it can turn into a time-consuming process. The www.ssa.gov website furnishes considerable information about the program
Your first step should be to check the Social Security Administration website, www.ssa.gov and read everything about disability income and then determine if you think you might qualify. Secondly, you may want to consult with a lawyer specializing in these types of claims. Usually, there is no charge for the first visit. With that information, you can make the decision whether to proceed with the claim, drop it, decide if you are going to handle everything yourself or employ the use of legal counsel.
Social Security Disability Forms and Processes
Before contacting the Social Security Administration, make certain you have all your documentation available regarding medical treatments, diagnosis and other related items. There will be a preliminary form to fill out that will go through the state Medicaid program and then be forwarded to the Social Security Administration. In most cases, there will be numerous forms to complete. You may have to see doctors chosen by the Social Security administration to verify that you are disabled and entitled to the appropriate benefits.
If your disability is obvious, such as blindness, loss of a limb, loss of hearing, or something similar, the process may be somewhat simple. If the disability claimed is emotional distress, anxiety, or something else, it may take longer before a decision is reached. Once you are declared disabled and receive benefits, there are restrictions on earning income from other sources.
Social Security Disability Lawyers
Retaining the services of a lawyer who specializes in Social Security Disability claims may be an option you want to consider. Many of these lawyers have the experience with the Social Security administration and know how to expedite the process. They can advise you on how to present your case. Also, there are a number of lawyers and law firms specializing in applying for Social Security Disability benefits. In these cases, a lawyer only gets a part of the back pay that may be owed you. If you have been disabled for a year and are approved for those payments, the lawyer will get a portion of the past due payments. The lawyer’s fee is set by the Social Security Administration.
Don’t Confuse Social Security Disability with Regular Social Security Benefits
Social Security Disability Payments should not be confused with regular Social Security Payments or Supplemental Security Payments. When you reach your normal retirement age, your benefit will revert to what you would normally get from Social Security. In the case of Supplemental Security Income, there is a special program call SSDI, which stands for Supplemental Security Disability Income. This is for people who have never worked a significant amount of time because of some disability.
How Do I Apply for Social Security Disability?
You can start your disability claim online using the Social Security Administrations website. There is no need to wait for an appointment if you choose to file online.
Follow these steps to apply online for Social Security Disability:
- Read the Adult Disability Checklist to get an understanding of the online application process;
- Complete the online Disability Benefit Application to provide information about your eligibility;
- Complete the online Adult Disability Report to provide information about your medical and work history;
- Complete, sign, and mail or take the Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration to your local Social Security office.
If you would like to file for disability benefits in person, you can do one of the following:
- Call SSA’s toll-free telephone number 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday to make an appointment; or
- Visit your local Social Security office.