It’s no secret that big government programs like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) usually have lots of rules, regulations, and requirements. The thought of applying for government benefits can be frightening, and it’s easy to be intimidated. However, applying for Social Security Disability Insurance doesn’t have to be difficult if you know where to look for help at every stage of the application process.
Completing the Application
The Social Security Administration, which manages the SSDI program, provides the application online or by visiting your local Social Security Office. You may also call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to start your application.
The SSA provides a checklist to help people applying for benefits. However, the application is seven pages long, and completing it may feel like an uphill battle.
It helps to have an experienced person your side. Consider discussing your claim with an experienced California disability attorney before proceeding.
Assembling Your Supporting Documents
In addition to the seven-page application, you will provide numerous supporting documents, including your:
- Social Security Card,
- Original birth certificate,
- Military discharge records for service prior to 1968,
- W-2 forms or a self-employment tax return for the previous year,
- Completed Adult Disability Report that contains your medical history and work history,
- Medical records you already have in your possession, and
- Settlement agreements, pay stubs or other proof of any temporary or permanent benefits you received.
As you can see, some of the records may take time to gather. An experienced California disability attorney can help you through this part of the process. Once the application and supporting documents are assembled, you’ll need to submit your application.
Handling the Interview
After submitting your application, an SSA caseworker will interview you. You’ll need to provide answers to a long list of questions, listed here. In addition to basic information proving who you are and your citizenship status, you may be asked about your military service, your family’s dependence on certain government programs, your medical condition, and your work history.
As with any interview, preparation is key. Discussing your interview with your disability attorney can go a long way to making you feel more confident and comfortable.
Appealing if Necessary
Many claims are denied when initially requested. However, you can begin by asking that your application be reconsidered. If this fails, you may have to appeal.
A Better Way of Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits
For a free consultation with an experienced Social Security attorney, consult with an attorney at The Law Offices of Martin Taller. Call us at 714-385-8100. We assist clients through Southern California from our home office in Anaheim.