5 Steps To Take Before Filing For Social Security Disability
Want to apply for Social Security Disability benefits? Applying for disability benefits is as simple as filling out a few forms and contacting your local Social Security office, but to ensure that your interview runs smoothly and to increase your chances of getting approved, here are 5 steps you might want to take before filing that claim. 1. Review the Adult Disability Starter KitThe Adult Disability Starter Kit, which is available on the Social Security Administration's (SSA) website, contains a factsheet that includes the definition of disability and answers common questions about applying for benefits, a checklist of documents and information you need to have ready before your interview, and a worksheet that will help you prepare for your disability interview. 2. Determine if your wages exceed the amount allowed To be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, your monthly income must be below the amount specified by the SSA. Your claim will be denied if your monthly income exceeds that amount. 3. Ask for your doctor's support Ask your doctor if he will be supportive of your disability claim. Submitting a statement from your doctor that goes into detail about how your medical condition limits your ability to engage in substantial work will help to further your case. Some doctors aren't willing to get involved in the process because of the time and effort required on their part, so prior to filing your claim, make sure that one of your doctors is willing to vouch for you. 4. Compile your medical records To ensure that the disability determination specialist that reviews your case has all of the information he needs to accurately assess your medical condition, compile all of your health records and submit your complete medical history, including medical conditions you've been diagnosed with, treatments you've received, and the time and date that you received those treatments. 5. Write down your work history You'll be asked to discuss your work history several times throughout the application process, so prior to filling out any forms, record all of the jobs you've had in the last 15 years, along with their duties and responsibilities. You can write this information down when you fill out the worksheet in the Adult Disability Starter Kit. You have the option to skip this step and go straight to filling out the Adult Disability Report online, but since you'll be copying the information from the worksheet onto the Adult Disability Report, it's helpful to fill out the worksheet first. Last but not least, be prepared to explain in detail why you are unable to work and how your medical condition has affected your ability to work. If you need help gathering information and making your case, consider hiring an experienced Social Security Disability attorney. With an attorney's assistance, your application will be better positioned for approval.