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How to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits

Applying for Social Security Disability

August 31, 2020

The Social Security Administration provides benefits for people who are unable to work due to an injury or illness that results in disability. Applying for disability benefits is a complicated process, and the majority of first-time claims are denied.

It is easy to feel discouraged when applying for benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). An experienced Social Security Disability lawyer can provide assistance with your initial claim and/or help you file an appeal if your claim is denied.

For help with your SSDI claim, please contact the Karl Truman Law Office for a free consultation. Call us for service in Louisville and other areas of Kentucky at (502) 222-2222 or call (812) 282-8500 for service in Jeffersonville and other areas of Indiana.

How to Apply for SSDI Benefits

The Social Security Administration accepts disability benefits claims online, or you can submit your application over the phone. You will be asked to provide extensive information on the following:

1. Basic Information

You will need to provide your Social Security Number (SSN), your date of birth and where you were born, and banking information for direct deposit of your benefits (provided your claim is approved).

The application also requests information on your marital status and dependent children:

  • Information for spouse or ex-spouse:
    • Name, birth date, and SSN
    • Dates you were married and divorced (if applicable)
    • Where you were married
  • Information for minor children:
    • Names and date(s) of birth

If you served in the military, you will also be asked for your dates of service, the branch in which you served, and your duties.

2. Employment Information

The application will request information on your short-term and long-term employment history. For the current year and the preceding year, you must provide:

  • The name and address of your employer(s)
  • The dates you worked for each employer
  • Your earnings at each job

You will also be asked for your work history for up to five jobs over the 15 years you worked before your disability.

3. Medical Information

To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must provide extensive information about your disability, including:

  • Details about your injury or illness
  • Names, facility locations, and contact information for all of the doctors and other healthcare providers who have treated you
  • The dates of appointments with doctors and other providers
  • The names and dosages of all medications you take, as well as the prescriber
  • Medical tests you have undergone, including the date of each test and the name of the provider who ordered them

You may be asked to provide copies of medical records and other supporting documents as part of your application.

When Should I Apply for SSDI Benefits?

According to the Social Security Administration guide on Disability Benefits, “Processing an application for disability benefits can take three to five months.” Therefore, it is in your best interest to apply as soon as your disability renders you unable to work.

Thorough completion of the application and timely submission of requested information and documents may reduce the time it takes to process your claim. An experienced attorney can help you with the application process.

What Happens After You Apply

The Social Security Administration will review your application to determine if you qualify for disability benefits, as well as if you have acquired enough credits through your work history. The Disability Determination Services (DDS) agency in your state will then evaluate your condition.

DDS workers will request information and records from your medical providers. You may be asked to undergo a special medical exam in order for the agency to make a determination.

Ultimately, your eligibility for benefits will depend on the answers to the following five questions:

  1. Are you working?
  2. Is your medical condition “severe”?
  3. Does your medical condition meet or medically equal a listing?
  4. Can you do the work you did before?
  5. Can you do any other type of work?

It is important to note that SSDI benefits are only available if you are disabled or unable to work. Partial and short-term disability are not covered.

What to Do If Your Claim Is Denied

After waiting for months for approval of your SSDI benefits application, a denial of your claim is truly devastating. Sadly, the majority of first-time applicants face this exact situation.

If your SSDI benefits claim was denied, you have 60 days to appeal. At this point it is in your interest to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

Social Security Disability benefits claims are complex, and appealing a decision is no exception. You need an experienced attorney who understands the procedures for appeal and acts promptly to ensure you have every chance to get the benefits you deserve.

Contact Our Social Security Disability Lawyers Today

The Karl Truman Law Office has extensive experience handling a wide variety of disability claims and appeals. If you are unable to work due to an injury or illness, our team can help.

Please call (502) 222-2222 for service in Louisville and other areas of Kentucky. Or, if you live in Indiana, call (812) 282-8500 to contact us in Jeffersonville. Your initial consultation is free.