The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers multiple disability programs to those who develop qualifying medical conditions and can no longer sustain gainful employment. The income from disability helps you pay your bills while you are not able to earn a paycheck from work.
The two programs offered are Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSD is available to those who have worked for a substantial time and paid into the Social Security system via payroll taxes. SSI is a needs-based disability program available to those whose income and assets fall below the SSA’s thresholds. The disability attorneys at the Disability Advantage Group, can review your work history and financial situation and determine if you qualify for SSD or SSI.
If you qualify, we can help you understand how to file for SSD or SSI and the information that is needed by Social Security. Call us today at 865-566-0800 for a free consultation.
When Should I Apply for SSD or SSI?
You should apply for SSD or SSI as soon as you become disabled. The sooner you apply, the faster you will receive benefits. Moreover, your benefits do not always start to accrue the date you become disabled. In some situations, they begin on the date the SSA received your application. If there is a gap between when you received a diagnosis and when you submitted your application, you could forfeit benefits during this time. These are benefits for which you otherwise would have been eligible.
That is why we recommend you start working on your application immediately upon becoming disabled.
How Do I Apply for SSD or SSI?
The SSA provides three options for applicants looking to file a claim for benefits. You can:
- Apply online by filling out and submitting an application on the SSA’s website;
- Apply over the phone by calling 800-772-1213—or 800-325-0078 for deaf or hard-of-hearing applicants; or
- Apply with the help of an SSA field representative by calling or visiting your local Social Security office.
If you are unsure about how to handle the application process, contact us today. Our attorneys can help you file for SSD or SSI benefits.
What Do I Need to Apply for SSD or SSI?
Before applying, you will need to have specific information and documents handy. The application is very thorough and you must complete it precisely. A simple error or oversight can result in a denial for an application that would have otherwise received approval.
The information you need to provide when you apply includes:
- Your name, Social Security Number,and date of birth;
- Your citizenship status;
- Whether you have filed for benefits before;
- Whether you have served in the military;
- Your marital status and the number and ages of your children;
- Whether you have any other dependents;
- Your employment or self-employment information for the previous two years; and
- The date you became disabled.
You will also have to produce several documents, including:
- Your birth certificate or other proof of birth;
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal resident status;
- Your military discharge papers, if applicable;
- Your W-2 forms or tax returns from the previous year;
- Your adult disability form, detailing the nature of your injury or illness and your work history;
- Medical evidence of your disability, including diagnoses, lab reports, and test results; and
- Proof of any workers’compensation benefits you have received.
How Long Will It Take for the SSA to Approve My Application?
The SSA does not guarantee a specific time frame for processing claims. It often depends on several factors, such as the volume of incoming applications at the time you apply. In general, the SSA can take three to five months to reach a decision.
Though the waiting period is largely beyond your control, you can make it as short as possible by ensuring you have all of the above documentation available and organized in an easy-to-follow format at the time of application. You can also help speed up the process by responding promptly to any request from the SSA for additional information.
What Happens If My Application for SSD or SSI Receives a Denial?
If you do not receive an approval for SSD or SSI benefits, you have the right to ask the SSA to take a second look at your application. If you have additional medical evidence that strengthens your claim, you can submit this for review, as well. A good attorney can help you with this process.
If you get denied a second time, you can appeal your case in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ). You may have an attorney represent you for this process. If you are facing an appeal with an ALJ, let us review your claim and help you fight for the disability benefits you need.
Call 865-566-0800 for a Free Consultation With an SSD Lawyer.
The legal team at the Disability Advantage Group, wants to help you file a strong application for SSD or SSI benefits. To set up a free consultation, call 865-566-0800 today.