If you are unable to work due to a mental or physical disability, then you may qualify for Social Security Disability. However, you will have to fill out an application in order to get benefits. There are several steps that you will have to do in order to ensure that the application is filled out properly.
Determine if Your Medical Condition Qualifies
There are a variety of medical conditions that qualify a person for Social Security Disability. This includes things such as musculoskeletal problems, respiratory problems, cardiovascular problems, immune system disorders and digestive disorders. Anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and other mental health conditions also qualify a person for Social Security Disability.
There is a Blue Book listing of disabilities. However, it is important to note that you may be able to get disability benefits even if your condition is not in the Blue Book.
You will have to get documentation from a physician to prove that you have a medical condition that stops you from working.
Applying for Disability Benefits
There are several ways that you can apply for disability benefits. You can apply for your benefits online. You will need to provide your Social Security number and birth date. If you have a spouse and children, then you may also have to provide their information.
You will also need to provide information about your medical condition. You will need to provide the contact information of someone who knows about your medical condition. You will also need to provide the contact information of the health care providers who are treating you, the medications you are taking and medical procedures you have undergone.
Additionally, you will need to provide your work information. This includes the contact information of your employer, the amount of money that you earned and a list of your five most recent jobs. If you filed for workers compensation, then you will also need to provide this information.
You can also apply over the phone. A representative can walk you through the process of applying for Social Security Disability Benefits. You have the option of applying for benefits at the Social Security Office.
What to do if You Have Been Denied Benefits
It is estimated that 53 percent of Social Security Disability applications are denied the first time. If your application gets denied, then you can file an appeal. You will have 60 days to file an appeal. You will need to send in a request for reconsideration form. You can turn in the same paperwork and another SSA representative will look at it. You can add new information if you feel that it will increase your chances of getting approved.
You will likely have to attend a disability hearing. You will go before an administrative law judge and explain why you feel that you should get Social Security Disability Benefits. You may be able to bring witnesses who can support your case.
If your the denial is upheld in court, then your case will go to the Appeals Council. They will review your case and determine if your claim will be accepted or rejected. In some cases, they may send the case back to the administrative law judge.
It is a good idea to seek out legal help if your claim has been rejected. You will be much more likely to get approved if you have an attorney. Many Social Security Disability attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means that you will only have to pay if your claim gets approved. They will likely take a portion of your disability back pay. Many attorneys take up to 25 percent of your back pay.