Making a Social Security Disability Benefits Application: A Complete Guide
Social Security Disability Insurance is a government-funded program that pays you benefits providing you are insured. Becoming insured under this program requires you to work for many years and pay social security taxes on all of your earnings. There is another government-funded disability program, the SSI (Supplemental Security Income) program which pays benefits to children and adults with a limited income and means, providing they are disabled. The respective programs are different in non-medical requirements, but the medical requirements are the same; the programs pay monthly benefits that can help you to support yourself financially. This page will tell you how you can make a social security disability benefits application.
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Here are the details you should know
Contact a Disability Lawyer
If you have in the past been denied or have struggled with making a benefits application, a disability lawyer could be a great asset. The professionals from one LaPorte Law Firm say that having a lawyer on your side can make all of the difference and benefit you greatly. There are instances when people are denied social security benefits for no good reason, and this may bar you from applying again in the future, which is why it is very important to contact a disability lawyer before going ahead with another claim, or making one if you are uncertain.
Gather Relevant Documents
The first stage of the application process is to gather the relevant documents. You will be required to present a copy of your birth certificate, bank statement, and your passport. You may have to send these by mail, so having copies is a good idea. They will expect to see original documents. You can request a meeting in person, which if you are reluctant to send your documents by post, could potentially be the best option. Sending your documents is risky, and with mail fraud increasing, you could risk being the victim of sophisticated identity fraud.
The Initial Application Process
Once the documents have been sent, you can make the initial application; the application is done online. You should have, at this point, determined your eligibility and established which benefit you are applying for. The ADC (Adult Disability Checklist) will help you to determine this. Once you have created and submitted your application, you must wait for the review process to be completed; the review process can take up to six weeks, and they will extensively research you to ensure you are truly eligible and not attempting to commit an act of benefit fraud.
They will also check whether or not you worked the period of years required, or evaluate whether or not you are currently working, which, if you are, you may be fit to work and not be eligible for the benefit.
If you have claimed to be suffering from a type of physical disability, you may be required to provide physical evidence. This may potentially entail attending a disability assessment review, in which a trained physician will review you and assess you to ensure that you are not fraudulently claiming benefits. These reviews can be quite intense and can be very anxiety-provoking for many people with disabilities; they will grade you on a point system, with every question they ask having a fixed amount of points. At the end of the review, you will have your points sent away to another assessment center who will make the final decision. You are entitled to bring a family member or a carer to this review, in case of anxiety, or in case you need help moving. They may ask you to do a few physical exercises, for example. standing on tiptoes and touching your head.
Wait for Response
After attending the further evidence interview, you will have to wait for a response. A response can take, as aforementioned, a period of up to six weeks. You should receive a letter by post telling you your benefit entitlement. Your payment will be worked out as per your needs, and payments differ depending on who it is that is applying. Some people get far more than others.
Appeal a Decision
If you have been denied, and feel that you have been denied unjustly, you are legally entitled to appeal. The appeal process can last a very long time and may yield nothing other than a further denial. It is recommended that anyone who is turned down makes an appeal, as you may end up having your denial overturned.
Now you know how to apply for a social security benefit. More and more people are applying for these, and as they do, the requirements for entitlement become stricter. If you suffer from a disability, be sure to apply, as you should not suffer silently without any form of income.