What you Should Know Before Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits

It is important that you Know this Important Information Before You Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits, and we are here to assist you so feel free to Contact Us today for your free consultation so that we may assist you when Applying for Social Security Disability. When you request an Appointment to File for Disability Benefits, you will be sent a Starter Kit for Adults or a Starter Kit for Children under the age of 18 that will help you get ready for your disability interview and online application. Specifically, the Starter Kits provide information about the specific documents and the information that will be requested from you during your interview and in your application, and you will be asked for more details during your interview as well.

The Starter Kit for Adults will contain the following information:

  1. A Fact Sheet titled, “What You Should Know Before You Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits,” that includes the definition of disability, the answers to questions about applying for disability benefits, and a link to the online application.
  2. A Checklist titled,“Checklist - Adult Disability Interview,” that is a checklist of information and documents that you need to have ready for your disability interview or for when you complete the online Disability Report.
  3. A Worksheet titled,“Medical And Job Worksheet – Adult,” the worksheet can help you prepare for your disability interview and it lists information that you will be asked and it provides space for you to write down this information, and it is important that you complete this worksheet before the interview since you will be asked for for this information during your disability interview.

The Starter Kit for Children under the age of 18 will contain the following information:

  1. A Fact Sheet titled, “What You Should Know Before You Apply For SSI Disability Benefits For Your Child, ” that answers frequently asked questions about applying for SSI child disability benefits, the definition of disability for children under age 18, information about the SSI program, and other important information about state and local medical assistance, and it provides a link to the online Child Disability Report.
  2. A Checklist titled,“Checklist - Child Disability Interview, ” that is a list of information and documents for your child that you will need for the disability interview and to complete the Child Disability Report on the Internet.
  3. A Worksheet titled,“Medical And School Worksheet – Child,” that will help you to prepare for the disability interview and complete the Child Disability Report on the Internet, and it lists the information that you will be asked about your child and it provides space to write down this information.

If you use the Child Disability Report on the Internet, then you will type your Worksheet information directly into the report. You may review and print the complete Child Disability Report at: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/disability/Documents/SSA-1171-KIT.pdf

The kits are also meant to provide general information about the disability programs and the Social Security Administrations (SSA) decision-making process that can help take some of the mystery out of applying for disability benefits. The letter that is enclosed with the Starter Kit(s) will have the the date, time, and location of your appointment for your interview. A Social Security representative will interview you and complete an application for disability benefits and a Disability Report. The interview will either take place in the local Social Security office or on the telephone, and it will take at least one (1) hour. You can, however, shorten your interview time in half by starting the process online by completing BOTH the application for benefits and the disability report by going to: www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability.

Even if you complete the information stated above online, you will still need to keep your scheduled appointment with the local Social Security office so a representative can review your information. If you cannot fill out this information online, then you can complete the enclosed Medical and Job Worksheet and have it ready for your appointment. It will also speed things up if you bring to the office for your appointment the information requested on the enclosed Checklist. Even if you have an appointment by telephone, then the representative may ask you to provide any required Checklist items.

It is very important that you know by law, that Social Security has a very strict definition of disability, and to be found disabled, the following criteria must be met:

  • You must be unable to do any substantial work because of your medical condition(s); and
  • Your medical condition(s) must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least (one) 1 year, or be expected to result in your death.

It is also very important to note that disability benefits are not approved merely from your doctor’s report that you are disabled, and that Social Security Disability Laws are very different from most other programs. For example, Social Security Disability does not pay benefits for partial disability. It takes, on average, about 3 to 5 months to get a decision about whether or not you will or will not receive Social Security Disability Benefits. The exact time to get a decision, however, depends on how long it takes to get your medical records and any other evidence needed to make a decision.

The SSA sends your application to a local State Agency that makes disability decisions, and the state has medical and vocational experts who will contact your doctors and other places where you received treatment to get your medical records. If the State Agency determines that it needs more information to make its determination, then the State Agency may also send you forms to complete or ask you to have an examination or medical test completed by the provider of their choice. If the state does request an examination, make sure you keep the appointment, and note that you will not have to pay for any examination or test you are sent to by the State Agency.

Social Security Disability Benefits are paid under two (2) different programs:

  1. One Program is called the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and this program is for people who have worked and incurred enough disability credits to qualify;
  2. The other Program is called the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program and this program is for people who may or may not have worked and who have very little income, if any, and/or resources, if any.

The Information that you give Social Security is protected by law. If you do not understand English very well, are deaf, or otherwise hard of hearing, then you are encouraged to bring a friend or relative to translate for you. Social Security will provide free interpreter services to help you conduct your Social Security business, but they we need advanced notice to make arrangements with the translator. You may visit the SSA’s website at www.socialsecrity.gov, you may ask your interviewer while at your appointment, or you may call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213, and for the deaf of hearing of hearing, you may call TTY 1-800-325-0778.

At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates, we are experts at representing people who are seeking Social Security Disability Benefits. As you can tell from the detailed information provided herein, this is not a simple process. Therefore, we encourage you to Contact Us today for your free consultation by any or all of the following means: By phone at 770-865-8654 and (813) 363-6664; By email at juliericelaw@outlook.com; And/or by our Website. We are here to assist you and we look forward to hearing from you soon.