If you have a medical condition that is limiting your ability to work and you require financial support, you may need to consider submitting a Social Security disability claim. Before you apply, review the information below to increase your chances of being approved for Social Security disability benefits.
Apply In Person Or Online.
The Social Security Administration provides you the choice to either apply in person at a local Social Security office or online. There are pros and cons to both.
Pro: If you do not have all the required information on hand, you can save your work as you go.
Con: If you get stuck, there is no direct support to assist you.
Pro: If you need assistance, a representative of the Social Security Administration is
Available to support you.
Con: The application is lengthy and may take multiple appointments to complete.
If you choose to apply online and are unsure if your claim is complete, you may consider scheduling a consultation with a knowledgeable SSDI disability attorney. An SSDI disability attorney will not only help ensure your application is complete but can guide you in ways of preparing a stronger application, increasing the chances of your claim being approved.
The application is comprised of four main forms:
- Application for Disability Insurance Benefits
- Adult Disability Report
- Work History Report
- Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration
Important information you will need to complete these forms include:
- employment dates,
- names of employers, and
- contact information for medical facilities where you’ve received treatment.
No need to wait until you’ve compiled each piece of required information. With the online application, you can save your progress and return at a future date to complete it. The earlier you begin the application the better. Your application date will be backdated to the date you began the application, not the date you complete it. The application date is used to determine how much back pay you may qualify for, potentially getting you more money if you file earlier.
Providing Details Of Your Medical Condition.
The Adult Disability Report form is included in the main application when completing the application online. This is where you will document each medical condition hindering you from completing everyday work tasks. You should include every medical condition you can provide documentation for, no matter how small. One condition on its own may not qualify you for Social Security disability benefits, but each condition combined may paint a different picture.
To support your claims, be sure to include the following:
- Dates and types of treatment.
- Physician names and contact information of those responsible for your treatments.
- Locations of where you’ve been treated (hospital, clinic, physician’s office).
In this section, you will also be asked to identify the disability onset date, the date you became unable to work. You must have medical documentation to corroborate this date. Your claim may be best supported by choosing a date that coincides with a medical event, such as a hospital visit or date of diagnosis. You may want to seek legal guidance on the best date to select.
It is important to describe clear cause and effect. When completing this section, think about the following questions:
- What physical or mental condition do you suffer from?
- What are the effects of this condition?
- How do these effects limit your ability to complete work-related tasks?
Clear cause and effect statements will help support your claim, for example:
I suffer from chronic back pain that is exacerbated by repetitive heavy lifting. My doctor has instructed me to limit the weight I carry to no more than 15 pounds, preventing me from carrying loads of building materials.
I have been diagnosed with epilepsy. I have been instructed by my physician to avoid driving and operating heavy machinery, limiting my ability to operate a motor vehicle.
In these statements, the medical condition is clearly stated, along with the effect of the condition and how it limits specific work-related actions.
Authorization To Disclose.
At the end of the application, you must select “yes” to consent to the Social Security Administration collecting medical documentation on your behalf. The Administration will need access to your medical records to support your claim.