We often try to do things by ourselves instead of hiring professionals. Sometimes it’s because of a can-do attitude, and sometimes we just hope to save a little money. But the problem is that professionals have more in-depth knowledge. They know how to handle problems when they arise. For example, you might need to apply for benefits like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The forms are online, so it should be easy, right? If you are wondering if you can apply for SSDI by yourself, ask a California disability lawyer.
It’s Really Not Easy to Apply for SSDI
The Social Security Administration (Social Security) does offer advice and forms on its website. However, here’s what’s involved when you file for benefits.
First, you will review the Adult Disability Checklist that lists the information you need:
- Date and place of birth
- Details about marriages and divorces
- Data about your children, if any
- Military service details
- Employer contact information or self-employment details
- Banking information for direct deposit
- Alternate contacts
- Medical information, including contact information for providers and details about medical tests and prescriptions
- Job history
- Education and Training
Then you’ll use this information to complete your Disability Benefit Application. Social Security may ask for documents that support any information you have provided on your application, including:
- Proof of birth
- Proof of citizenship
- Military discharge papers
- W-2 or self-employment tax returns
- Medical records in your possession
- Award letters for any other types of benefits, including workers’ compensation
- Pay stubs
You can mail your documents or apply online. Your California disability attorney could ease the burden by explaining the application in more detail. Also, your lawyer can make sure you include all the information Social Security needs to assess your request for benefits.
A California Disability Lawyer Goes to the Next Level
And that next level is appeals. Social Security denies a majority of first-time SSDI applicants. That doesn’t mean your claim for benefits is completely over. You can appeal Social Security’s decision.
However, this means you might potentially have to go through all four levels of appeal:
- Request for Reconsideration
- Administrative Law Judge
- Appeals Council
- United States District Court
If the application process looks difficult, the appeals process is even worse. When you apply for SSDI by yourself, you stand alone as you start the first step. You can hire an attorney at this point. However, your attorney is starting at a disadvantage.
Generally, it’s better to have a California disability lawyer work on your case from the very start. Applying for benefits on your own could actually delay your claim if you have to appeal a denial of benefits.
We Can Help You Apply for SSDI
Just because you can do something on your own doesn’t mean you should. Discuss your case with an experienced California disability lawyer before trying to apply for SSDI by yourself.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have helped many clients resolve SSI issues. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.