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Are you considering applying for Social Security Disability benefits, but don’t know where to start? You can file your application for Social Security Disability online, over the phone or at your local Social Security office. However, we highly recommend applying over the phone. This is considered the initial application phase. Read on to learn what to expect during the initial application process.
What To Expect
You will be required to provide the Social Security office with certain personal information when applying for disability benefits. It is helpful to have this information on hand when completing your application. Some of the personal information and documentation needed to complete your application includes: your social security number, your birth certificate, a copy of your most recent W-2, a detailed work history, the contact information for your doctors and the dates of your visits, the names and dosages of your current medications, and a complete history of your medical records.
You will be required to answer questions pertaining to your disability and your work history, and may be asked to complete an Activities of Daily Living Questionnaire. This questionnaire provides a more comprehensive look at how your disabilities affect your life on a regular basis.
Your medical records will need to be provided to the Social Security examiner and you may be asked to undergo a consultative exam with their doctor. There must be evidence that your disability will last at least twelve months in order to qualify for disability benefits.
Evaluating Your Claim
Once your application has been submitted, the Social Security office will check to see whether or not you have worked enough to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. They will also look to see whether your current employment status disqualifies you from receiving disability benefits. If you meet the necessary criteria, the Social Security office will send your application to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) department for a full review.
The Disability Determination Services office will review the information and medical records you have provided with your application. If the examiner reviewing your case does not have enough medical documentation to prove your disability, they may require you to attend a consultative exam. In some cases, more than one consultative exam may be requested.
Once Disability Determination Services has received all of the information needed to process your claim, they will then evaluate and approve or deny it. Their decision is based on the combination of medical evidence provided, whether or not your specific disability is included in the Social Security Listing of Impairments, if you are able to perform past work and whether or not you are capable of performing any type of work at all.
After SSA approves or denies your claim, you will receive a letter notifying you of their decision. If you are approved for benefits, the letter will state the amount of your monthly benefits and when those benefits will begin. If your application is not approved, the letter will explain why you were denied Social Security Disability benefits and what you need to do if you want to appeal the decision.
Application Processing Time
The wait time is typically three to six months for a Social Security Disability applicant to find out if they qualify on their initial application. It is during this time that The People's Representative, LLC gets to work before a potential denial comes in. We aim to get your claim approved in the initial application phase.
Navigating through the initial first steps of securing your disability benefits can be tricky. Let us lend a helping hand to make this process as smooth as possible.