Completing a social security disability benefits application isn’t always an easy process. With so many aspects of the application, you want to have a good idea of where to start. It can be helpful to understand if you are eligible for benefits and how to complete the application correctly.
If you want to know how to apply for social security benefits we want to help. Here are some important things you need to know about the social security disability benefits application.
Determine Your Eligibility
One of the first things you need to know about before you complete a social security disability application is if you qualify for benefits. The first thing you need to qualify is you must have worked at a job that Social Security covers.
The next thing that would determine your eligibility is if you have a medical condition that the SSA classifies as disabled. To receive any benefits, this is the first you need to meet.
Under Social Security, the definition of disability is different from any other program. So when you apply for social security disability benefits you will have to be disabled. There are usually no benefits paid for short-term disability or partial disability.
You meet the consideration of disability if you are unable to do the work you did before. The Social Security Administration will decide if you can’t adjust the work that you were doing because of your medical condition. They also take note if your disability will last or has lasted over a year.
This definition of disability is strict, so making sure you are eligible for disability benefits is key in this entire process.
Information Needed to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits
It can be helpful to understand the information needed to apply for social security disability benefits. There will be specific documents requested to complete your application. You will need to provide your birth certificate or some other proof of your birth.
You are also required to show proof of citizenship. This means if you were not born in the United States you must show lawful alien status.
How to Complete the Social Security Benefits Application
Once you have determined your eligibility you want to apply for social security benefits immediately. The duration of the application process could take up to three to five months. In some cases, that time can be even longer.
There are several ways you can complete the social security benefits application.
The easiest way would be to complete it online. You are also able to call the Social Security Administration’s national toll-free service.
The number is 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). One last way to complete a social security benefits application is to visit a local Social Security office.
You are not required to set an appointment to visit your local office. Yet, if you can schedule one it could help you reduce your waiting time to apply.
Understanding the Application Questions
There are many different questions that the application will ask when filling out your social security benefits. You will need to provide obvious information like your name, gender, and social security number.
You will also be asked questions such as your date of birth and your place of birth. This includes state and city information or country. The Social Security Administration will want to know if you have ever filed for benefits before or if a family member has done it on your behalf.
The application will also feature questions related to your employer and employment history. This includes the dates you were first injured and if your employer will be paying any money to you since you are out of work.
There are application questions about your relationship status. You will need to include spousal information if you are married.
The social security disability benefits application will also have questions about your children. You will want to provide information for anyone else who is living with you when you had no earnings.
Understanding how to answer these questions can go a long way in receiving benefits.
What Do I Need to Tell the Social Security Administration
When you are filling out the social security disability benefits application there are things you are going to want to let them know. For example, you want to tell the SSA if there is a warrant out for your arrest for a felony offense. These offenses include escaping from custody, flight escape, or attempting to avoid prosecution.
The reason being you won’t be able to receive regular disability benefits or back payments for any month that you have an outstanding warrant. The same thing goes if you have a conviction for a crime.
While you won’t receive payments for any months you are confined, an eligible family member may continue to receive benefits based on your work.
Hire a Social Security Disability Benefits Lawyer
The next thing you need to know when completing a social security benefits application is when to speak with a lawyer.
One of the most important things a social security disability lawyer can do is take a look at your case. Having a dedicated attorney can significantly increase your chances of approval. Statistics prove that SSA is more likely to approve the applications for those who have legal representation.
Also, a lawyer can help you with your initial application. They know how to argue if your conditions meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disabled. If you have already applied for social security disability benefits and you haven’t been approved a lawyer can help you with the appeal process.
What to Expect Once You Have Completed Your Application
Once you have completed your Social Security benefits application they will review it and make sure you meet the definition of disabled. They will also confirm your work history to see if you have worked enough years to qualify for benefits.
The social security administration will also examine your current work functions. That is how they determine whether to move forward with your application or not. If your case goes forward, it will go to your state’s Disability Determination Services office.
Your state’s agency will then complete the initial disability determination. Once that happens, disability specialists and doctors from your state’s agency will ask your doctor about your condition.
You will then undergo a five-step evaluation process to determine if you are disabled.
Getting Your Social Security Benefits Application Approved
When there is approval for your social security disability benefits application you will receive a letter from SSA. This letter will contain information telling you the amount you were approved for as a monthly benefit.
It will also tell you what the effective date of your benefits is. You should know that your monthly benefits are based on the number of your average lifetime earnings. You can expect your disability benefits will be paid for in the sixth month from the date your disability began.
For instance, say your state disability agency determines that your disability began on February 20th. Your first disability payment would be for the entire month of August.
You should also know that your Social Security disability benefits come the following month. This means you would receive the benefits in September.
What to Do if Your Social Security Disability Benefits Application Is Denied
If your social security disability benefits application gets denied there are two things that you could do. You could request an appeal immediately within the 60-day time frame.
Your second option would be to contact a social security disability benefits lawyer. They can help you understand the reasons your application was initially denied.
You should also take into consideration the four levels of the appeal process. The first being reconsideration. The second level is to have your case heard by an administrative law judge.
The third step is to have your case reviewed by the appeals council. The last and final step in the appeals process would be to have your case reviewed by the Federal Court. Your denial letter will have information on the level of appeal that you should choose.
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A social security disability benefits application doesn’t have to ruin your day. As long as you determine your eligibility and know what information to provide taking on the application will be a breeze. The important thing to remember is this process can take some time.
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