Applying for government benefits can be complicated, frustrating, and, yes, even a little scary. Your application must be complete, and you need to provide supporting evidence. However, when you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income, there’s another step: your disability interview. Understanding what will happen at a disability interview may help you prepare for it and make it just a little less frightening.
After submitting your application, the Social Security Administration will contact you to set up a disability interview. Interviews may be conducted by telephone or in person. This is not like a court hearing, but is just a meeting between you and an SSA caseworker or representative. Remember, it’s just part of the application process.
What happens during the actual disability interview, though?
Questions During a Disability Interview
The interviewer will ask many questions during the interview. After all, the purpose of the meeting is to gather information about your disability claim. Some of the questions may relate to the following topics:
Your Living Situation – Are you married, single, or living with someone? You may have to answer questions about a spouse or significant other’s finances also. They may also ask about others who live in your household.
Resources, Income, and Savings – For some benefits, like SSI, income and resources are very important. They may ask about all your bank accounts, income, and things you own. However, the SSA may not count all of your income or resources against you.
Bills and Expenses – The interview will ask about your household bills, expenses, rent or mortgage, and so on. If you are living with someone, you may be asked about how much you pay towards household expenses.
If you are turned down for benefits after the interview, find out why. You may be able to fix whatever held up your benefits and request a second meeting.
Answering Those Questions
Try not to feel anxious, worried, or think that you have to impress your interviewer. The SSA rep handling your interview just needs to gather information for your file. He or she will not be deciding whether or not you will receive benefits.
Answer completely and honestly. If you do not understand a question, ask the interviewer for clarification. It’s better to ask a question than to answer incorrectly.
Learn More Handling a Disability Interview
The application process can be long and frustrating, so you need someone on your side. 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.