What To Know Before You File For Social Security Disability

Posted on: 28 September 2016

If you are suffering from a medical condition and are no longer able to work at your job, you may be able to collect Social Security Disability benefits. The application process can be long and confusing, but for those who need the financial assistance that this benefit provides, there are few alternatives. Fortunately, knowledge about the process can be of enormous help, so read on to learn more about what you need to do to get ready to file for Social Security Disability.

Do You Qualify?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has strict guidelines in place to screen applicants, so knowing what is required could save you some time. Make sure that you:

  • Have been unable to work for at least one year, or you expect to be unable to work for at least one year.
  • Have worked enough to earn work credits, which are equated to a dollar amount of money earned within a given amount of time.

Get Organized

Gather together the following documents and information:

  • Information about your most recent job, such as your begin and end dates, the wages you have earned during the present year and for the previous 2 years, and contact information for your job.
  • Information about when you became unable to work, such as your position, dates, and job duties.
  • A summary of past work.
  • Your education and training.
  • Dates of any military service
  • Names and dates of birth of all children under the age of 18 that reside with you.
  • Current and former spouse's names, dates of birth, social security numbers, dates of marriage and divorces, and contact information.
  • A listing of your medical conditions, your medical providers' names and contact information, names and dates of all treatments and medications, lab work, and tests.

How Long Does It Take to Hear Back?

The SSA uses the mail to contact you, so make sure you keep them informed about any address changes. You will receive a confirmation of your application, but the speed of processing depends on:

  1. The current backlog of applications.
  2. The completeness of your application package. Pay special attention to the medical information section, and be as detailed and accurate as possible in your description of your medical condition. Ensure that the dates are correct, and double check the spelling of any health care facilities, doctor's names, and addresses.

If your initial application has been denied, be sure to follow up with a Social Security attorney at a law firm like Drummond Law LLC-Disability Lawyers for your appeal hearing.