Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be a frustrating as well as time-consuming process. The SSA denies most applications at the initial stages, and the majority of applicants have to wait months (sometimes even years) before finally receiving their benefits. An experienced Columbus OH disability lawyer can help you with your Social Security disability application and ensure that you avoid costly mistakes in the process. To learn more about how to apply for disability or help with your claim, contact us today.
How to Apply for Disability
You can apply for disability benefits online, over the phone, or in person at the Social Security office nearest you. If you go in person, you are not required to schedule an appointment but many elect to do so because wait times can often be extensive.
It’s best to work with a disability attorney to ensure that your application is as complete as possible as well as to keep on top of important dates related to doctor’s appointments and interviews with SSA officials.
What Information Will the SSA Request?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will require you to state the cause for your application. This includes information such as your work history and the reasons why you are no longer able to work. You will also have to submit information related to your current medical condition and explain how it limits the type of work you are able to do.
You must provide the following personal information:
- Date of birth and place of birth;
- Social Security number;
- Information concerning current and former spouses; and
- Any bank accounts that are in your name.
You must also provide the SSA with the following documents:
- Your birth certificate,
- Proof of citizenship or lawful permanent resident status;
- W-2 or 1099 MISC for work over the past year;
- Medical documents and evidence related to your claim; and
- Documents related to any workers’ compensation claims.
The SSA requires extensive medical information related to your claim that you are no longer able to work. This may include the following:
- Contact information of doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, counselors, and psychiatrists;
- Information related to hospitalizations, medical practices and clinics you receive services from;
- Names of any medications you are currently taking; and
- Information related to medical tests your doctors have ordered.
The SSA will request information related to your work history. This includes the following:
- Amount of money you’ve earned this year;
- Names and addresses of former employers;
- Your Social Security statement;
- Information related to your military service;
- Details concerning all the jobs you’ve worked over the past 15 years; and
- Information concerning workers’ compensation or related benefits.
Tips for Filing a Successful Social Security Disability Application
It’s not exactly easy to hunt down all of the information outlined above yourself. The application process itself can be confusing, and the amount of paperwork involved is often overwhelming. This is because the SSA wants you to provide as much information as possible to support your claim that you are too disabled to work.
Experienced Social Security disability attorneys know what a successful application looks like. We can help you prevent needless delays in the application process, thus increasing your chances of obtaining an approval in a shorter span of time.
You can also greatly improve your chances by understanding the process yourself:
Check the SSA Blue Book
The Blue Book offers basic guidelines on what types of conditions are considered so debilitating that you can no longer work. On the one hand, individuals with these disabilities have their applications rejected every day. On the other hand, people with disabilities that are not listed in the blue book have their applications approved. Nonetheless, these guidelines are helpful for establishing a basic understanding of what the SSA is looking for.
The More Details You Provide, the Better
There are two major elements to a successful application:
- The first is establishing that you have a disability.
- The second is establishing that your disability prevents you from doing the work you’re qualified to do. In your application, you want to discuss how your disability impairs the daily tasks of your job. You want to be as specific as possible about this.
Additionally, a successful Social Security disability application contains extensive, detailed information about your medical condition. This includes records of medications, treatments, surgeries, physical therapy, or, in the case of psychiatric treatment, both counselors and treatment centers that provide you services.
Be Honest on Your Application
Some people believe they need to overstate their problems. Others, on the other hand, believe that they’ll have more success by downplaying their disability. The truth is, neither strategy is wise. Simply be as honest and accurate as possible.
Don’t Be Surprised If Your Claim Is Denied Even If It’s Valid
If your claim is denied, don’t panic. Many claims are successfully granted on appeal. In most cases, when a claim is denied, the SSA will provide a reason for that denial. You and your attorney can work out a plan to show that the SSA’s reason for denying your application was a mistake. In most cases, it’s a simple lack of information that can subsequently be rectified by providing the necessary records to the SSA.
If your initial application is denied, an attorney can also help you file an appeal.
Talk to a Columbus OH Social Security Disability Attorney Today
Social Security exists to ensure that hard-working Americans who have paid a lifetime into the system are compensated when they can no longer work. Whether you’ve had your application denied or you’re just starting the process, a Columbus OH disability lawyer can help you navigate the complex disability claims system. We deliver caring, committed service and can help ensure that your claim has the full attention of the SSA.
Nesbit Law Office will help you every step of the way and ensure that your application is as complete as possible. We can also help you with an appeal if necessary. Contact us today to learn more about our services.