Social Security Benefits from the federal government are provided to certain individuals. Most individuals that work can receive these benefits when they retire. However, some individuals that become permanently disabled and are unable to work may also qualify for benefits.
Social Security Benefits provide a monthly income for retired and disabled individuals to help them manage their lives and afford their costs of living when they are no longer working. Although the process for retirement is rather simple, the process for applying for disability benefits can be complicated.
Applying for Benefits
For any Social Security benefits, individuals simply fill out an application either online, over the phone, or in-person at the local Social Security office. If applying for social security benefits due to a disability, a lot more information is needed to verify the disability and how it affects the person’s ability to work.
When applying for disability benefits, information that verifies the individual’s identity and citizenship will be necessary. Any military service, work records, or self-employment records will also need to be provided. An adult disability report will also need to be completed along with any medical evidence or proof of the disability already in the person’s possession.
Providing Documentation and Medical Records
The Social Security Administration will also need any documentation and medical records that may prove the disability. Most of these records can be acquired by the Social Security Administration. However, applicants will need to provide the facilities where these records are and sign an authorization to allow the facilities to release any records.
If there is other information that may prove the disability, applicants can request those directly from the facility to be sent to the Social Security Administration. Any other documents that may help the case, including written statements from healthcare providers or previous employers can be submitted directly.
Once the application is processed, the Social Security Administration will often require the applicant to be evaluated by one of their approved healthcare providers. Applicants will receive this appointment notification by mail with the date and location of the evaluation.
The healthcare provider that will administer the evaluation is someone who is experienced in the field of the disability being purported. For those claiming differing types of disabilities, they may be required to visit more than one provider for an evaluation of each type of disability.
Receiving a Decision
Once all information is received, the Social Security Administration will begin making a decision on the claim. This process could take a few months for all the information to be properly reviewed. Once they are finished with their assessment of the disability, a notification of their decision will be sent.
If approved, the notification will provide the start date of the disability and the amount of the disability payments. However, if the application is denied, information will be provided on how to appeal the decision. It is not uncommon for qualified individuals to be denied during the initial application. This is often due to errors or missing and incomplete information.
Contacting an Attorney
If denied for disability benefits, an appeal is a good idea. However, this process can become even more complicated and can sometimes take two years or more. An attorney can be a great resource for this process.
An attorney can review all the information and reasons for the denial. They can help with the appeal process, as well as assist with correcting errors and providing any missing documentation. An attorney can also assist the individual if the case goes to a hearing.