Joe worked hard for 27 years to support his family. When his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affected his job performance, though, he did not know what to do. He did not want to stop working, but that time came anyway. The loss of his income was a financial disaster for his family. His oldest son, Daniel, realized his father needs SSDI benefits. He wonders what he can do to help him.
Understanding SSDI Benefits
The Social Security Administration manages several programs that offer benefits, including the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. People with disabilities may qualify for SSDI benefits if:
- They suffer from a disability that affects their ability to work, and
- They have accrued enough work credits.
Work credits refers to the number of quarters a person has worked. A sliding scale is used to decide how many work credits (quarters worked) a person needs to receive SSDI benefits.
But, first, you have to go through an application process.
Not Easy, But Necessary
The first step on the road to receiving SSDI benefits is to complete an application.
- Applications can be submitted in person or online. Daniel can help his father locate the appropriate forms and fill them out.
- Gather documents that support the application. As might be expected, the Social Security Administration requires a lot of supporting documentation. Some documents identify the application, like a Social Security card and birth certificate. Other documents relate to employment: W-2 forms, tax returns, and work-related benefits statements. Finally, the application will need to provide documents that support the disability claim, including: medical records and an Adult Disability Report. This is not a comprehensive list, and the SSA may require additional information before making a decision. Depending on how he is feeling, Joe may need a lot of help assembling all of his documents and attaching them to his application.
- Prepare for an interview. Joe will have to speak with SSA personnel about his application. Daniel can help him review the facts of his case, so he can accurately answer questions about his condition.
Many SSDI applications are denied the first time they are submitted. There is an appeal process that may require Joe to meet deadlines and attend hearings. Daniel can stay on top of the deadlines for his father and support him before, during and after any hearings.
The Best Thing Daniel Can Do for His Father
Joe needs someone to stand beside him during the application process. That’s especially true if his benefit claim is denied. He needs someone who understands the SSDI system. He needs an attorney who has handled Social Security Disability Insurance cases.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.