Disability is a term used to describe physical and/or mental impairments preventing an individual from performing work. Social Security Disability (SSD) provides monetary benefits, as well as health insurance coverage, to those who cannot work due to these impairments. Claimants may still qualify for SSD even if they are currently working or have a recent work history. Knowing how to file an application for Social Security Disability benefits is the first step in the process.
1. Talk To A Lawyer
Having a disability often makes hiring a lawyer unavoidable. The paperwork and procedures to file for SSD benefits can be complicated and it may be difficult for you to complete the forms without legal representation. Your lawyer can also inform you of other benefits you could potentially qualify for, depending on your specific situation.
Since this is always a stressful situation to be in, it’s important to find an attorney that specializes in the subject. Having a professional explain the entire process has an importance that the lawyers at laportelawfirm.com have noticed isn’t just related to the legal aspects of the case. It can help people stay as calm as can be during this rough time.
Knowing you have an expert fighting for you and your rights is a massive relief and it lets you focus on your health while they deal with the legal proceedings.
2. Gather Documentation
It is essential to gather all the documentation related to your disability. This includes doctor’s notes outlining the extent of your illness, medical test results.
Any correspondence with past employers or doctors concerning your condition should also be included. Being as thorough as possible during this step will help your application move through the system faster. It has been proven that being organized and efficient can improve a claimant’s chance of a smooth process.
The correspondence is valuable because it can help verify the severity of your illness, and can even prove that you are still affected by the disease or injury, preventing you from returning to your job at this time.
3. Ask Your Doctor To Write A Letter
Your doctor should provide a note confirming the extent of your illness and the treatment you’re currently receiving. If you have been out of work for a long period, the original diagnosis and treatment notes may be out of date.
Asking your doctor to write a letter about your medical condition can be a good idea. The letter should describe the signs and symptoms of your disorder and outline how it affects your day-to-day life. Because of the way bureaucracy works, this can be required even if you ended up with an irreversible condition.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re learning about all the documentation and procedures required for this process. This is why being well-informed is essential.
4. Where To File The Application
The application can be filed either online or at a field office. When filing online, the process is typically faster and applicants get to keep track of their case’s progress.
When filing at a field office, however, applicants are able to meet with an agent one-on-one. A list of field offices can typically be found on the SSA website. A benefit to filing the application in person is that you’ll need to complete several forms during this process and having someone guide you through it will help. While there shouldn’t be an issue, having someone else present during this process, like a family member or a lawyer can help you feel safer.
It’s similar to how it’s sometimes best to have someone go to the doctor’s with you if you think you could be having a serious condition. That way, if you get upset, there will be someone to ask the questions you may not think of.
5. Appealing If Denied
If your claim is denied, it’s a good idea to appeal. You can do this by filling out a form and sending it back to social security with an explanation detailing why the decision was incorrect. If you are still denied, you can file a claim in federal court. It’s always best to get the opinion of an experienced lawyer before moving forward with this step. You have legal rights that are sure to be complicated to deal with without some help from professionals.
Social security disability is just one example of many where it’s important for people who need help to seek it out and receive it. There’s no shame in getting assistance when you need it, and the process of receiving benefits is sure to be smooth if you do your research. Having a support system at home is also helpful because it can be overwhelming to keep track of everything. Don’t forget to keep tabs on your mental health during this process, and let your loved ones take care of you during this time.