Monday, May 16, 2022

What Do I Need To Apply For Social Security Disability

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Social Security Disability Application- What do I need?

The beginning of the SSDI application will ask for basic personal information and supporting documents about you and your spouse, former spouses, and any unmarried children under the age of 18 . Here are the most important documents youll need:

  • Your original birth certificate*
  • If born outside of the United States, a certificate of citizenship or permanent resident card
  • Your marriage certificate or marriage license
  • Divorce decree for any previous marriages that lasted 10 years or more
  • Your Social Security card
  • The Social Security numbers, birthdates, and living arrangements of any qualifying dependents
  • Banking information

*If you are unable to provide your birth certificate, the Social Security Administration may also accept certain religious records, such as a baptismal certificate from age five or younger.

File The Appeal In A Timely Manner

Once youve been denied social security disability benefits, you have 60 days within which to file an appeal. But the sooner your attorney files the appeal, the better.

Your attorney will ensure that all the paperwork required is completed accurately. Theyll also provide the evidence required to support your case.

Once youve filed an appeal, a different disability examiner will review it again. Note that its not uncommon for cases to be denied multiple times. Thus, if your case is denied again, you neednt give up as you can still file for a hearing before a judge within 60 days.

What Are Social Security Disability Benefits

Social Security disability benefits are monthly payments that help support people who become too disabled to work. There are two different programs through which the SSA pays disability benefits. Those programs are:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance
  • Supplemental Security Income

Although both programs use the same basic definition of “disabled,” and there’s some overlap between the programs, there are also major fundamental differences. SSI and SSDI are intended for two different groups of disabled workers the benefits and qualifying requirements differ and the funding sources are different.

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How Does The Application Process Work

When you provide details about your medical condition to the SSA, your local Social Security office reviews your basic information to see if you could potentially qualify based on income and work history.

Your file is then sent off to a disability claims examiner who will review all of your medical documentation. The claims examiner will make a decision on your case, and you’ll be notified via mail whether your claim has been approved or denied. It usually takes around a month to 90 days to receive the decision on your application.

Benefits For Disabled Widows Or Widowers

What Steps Do I Need to Take to Apply for Social Security ...

If something happens to a worker, benefits may be payable to their widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse with a disability if the following conditions are met:

  • The widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse is between ages 50 and 60.
  • The widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse has a medical condition that meets the definition of disability for adults and the disability started before or within seven years of the worker’s death.

Widows, widowers, and surviving divorced spouses cannot apply online for survivors benefits. However, if they want to apply for these benefits, they should contact Social Security immediately at 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment

To speed up the application process, complete an Adult Disability Report and have it available at the time of your appointment.

We use the same definition of disability for widows and widowers as we do for workers.

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What Are The Requirements For Social Security Disability Insurance

The qualifications for Social Security Disability Insurance are more rigorous than those for SSI. To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Worked in a job covered by Social Security
  • Worked in that job for 5 of the past 10 years*
  • Have a medical condition that prevents you from working and renders you disabled

*The most common factor that disqualifies SSDI applicants is not having worked five of the last ten years. However, even if you do not meet the Social Securitys requirements for SSDI benefits, you may still be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income . Keep in mind that “5 of the past 10 years” is just a rule of thumb, and you may not need to have worked as long to qualify if you are younger.

For example, a younger adult who becomes paralyzed will not be expected to work as long as a 60-year-old adult. Depending on your age and how many work credits you’ve earned, you may only need to have 1.5 years of work under your belt to qualify for SSDI.

Another important requirement is working at a job that pays Social Security taxes. SSDI is funded by tax payers, so if you haven’t contributed to the system, you will not qualify for SSDI benefits.

What Is Social Security Disability Insurance

Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to people who cannot work because of certain disabilities or medical conditions. SSDI is funded by FICA Social Security payroll taxes. Workers earn SSDI by accumulating enough work credits throughout their working life. In order to qualify for SSDI, a person must be under 65 years old and have a qualifying severe disability as designated by the Social Security Administration .

Also, federal law has a very strict definition of disability that requires the medical condition be one thats expected to last one full year or more, or result in death. Social Security does not grant benefits to people with partial or short-term disabilities.

There is some confusion about the difference between SSDI and SSI , so lets clear up that confusion next.

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Next Steps For Apply For Ssdi Or Ssi Benefits

Evidence required by DDS for case documentation

Once you apply for disability benefits with the SSA, the Disability Determination Services , a division of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, will review your case. DDS will review medical information and vocational information, if necessary, that includes:

  • A history of all work performed in the last 15 years
  • A description of the physical demands and skill requirements for each job
  • Educational history

When all required medical and vocational information is received, the disability examiner and staff physician and/or psychologist carefully evaluate each claim, using a sequential evaluation process.

The following people or agencies can help supply the information that is needed to process a claim for disability benefits.

  • Treating physicians and psychologists
  • School records
  • Consultative examinations authorized by the DDS
  • Non-physician health care professionals
  • How Do You Qualify For Ssi

    What documents and information do I need when applying for Social Security disability benefits?

    You can qualify for SSI if:

    • You’re aged, blind, or disabled

    This would mean you’re over 65, you’re legally blind, or you meet the SSA’s definition of disabled. The definition of disabled is the same for SSI and SSDI, and we’ll cover that in more detail later.

    • You have limited income

    You can’t get SSI benefits if you’re engaged in substantial gainful activity. The definition of SGA for SSI is the same as it for SSDI, so you won’t be eligible for benefits if you earn $1,180 per month or more, or $1,970 per month or more if you’re blind.

    Because SSI benefits are needs-based, there are other rules when it comes to income as well. If you have $750 per month or more in countable income, you can’t qualify for SSI. If you have some countable income, your maximum $750 monthly benefit will be reduced on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

    The SSI counts only certain types income in determining whether you will receive reduced benefits or become ineligible. This includes income earned from working, workers’ compensation or unemployment benefits, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, other Social Security benefits, or family or friends. If you’re provided with free food or shelter, this also counts as income.

    However, SNAP benefits, income tax refunds, certain other government benefits, loans, grants or scholarships for tuition, and the first $20 in income received in a month are not countable for the purpose of determining whether you can get SSI benefits.

    • You have few assets

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    Earn Ssa Work Credits In Some Countries

    You may not have enough credits from your work in the United States to qualify for retirement benefits. But, you may be able to count your work credits from another country. The SSA has agreements with 24 countries. If you earned credits in one of those countries, they can help you qualify for U.S. benefits.

    If Your Application Is Denied

    After we review your application and the information you provided, we may decide you do not meet the qualifications for disability benefits.

    If you disagree with our decision, you have the right to ask us to look at your application again. The notice you receive from us that says you don’t qualify will explain how to appeal our decision and the time period in which you must make the request.

    If we decide you don’t qualify:

    • Because you are not disabled under our rules, you can appeal our decision online.

      The online disability report will ask you for updated information about your medical condition and any treatment, tests, or doctor visits since we made our decision.

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    Benefits For Your Spouse

    Benefits are payable to your spouse:

    • Age 62 or older, unless your spouse collects a higher Social Security benefit based on their earnings record. The benefit amount for your spouse is permanently reduced by a percentage, based on the number of months up to their full retirement age.
    • At any age if they are caring for your child under age 16 or who was disabled before age 22, and is entitled to benefits.

    What We Will Ask You

    Tips on Making Sure Your Social Security Disability ...

    If the worker is deceased, we will also ask you:

    • The worker’s date of birth and his or her name at birth
    • The worker’s date of death and the place of death
    • The State or foreign country of the worker’s fixed permanent residence at the time of death
    • Whether the worker was unable to work because of illnesses, injuries or conditions at any time during the 14 months before his or her death.
    • Whether the worker was in the active military service before 1968 or ever worked for the railroad industry.
    • Whether the worker earned Social Security credits under another country’s Social Security system
    • Whether the worker was employed or self-employed in all years from 1978 through last year
    • How much the worker earned in the year of death and the year before death
    • Whether the worker ever filed for Social Security benefits, Medicare or Supplemental Security Income. and
    • Whether each child was living with the worker at the time of death.

    Depending on the information you provide, we may need to ask other questions.


    You also should have with you your checkbook or other papers that show your account number at a bank, credit union or other financial institution so you can sign up for Direct Deposit, and avoid worries about lost or stolen checks and mail delays.

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    Extended Period Of Eligibility

    Following your trial work period, you will enter a 36-month extended period of eligibility. It is in this period that you can work and still receive benefits only as long as your earnings are less than what Social Security considers substantial. Social Security deducts what they consider work expenses that are a direct result of your disability from your total monthly earnings. These work expenses can range from prescription drug copays, transportation to and from work, and specialized work equipment.

    Do I Need To Hire A Social Security Lawyer

    Many people are unsure if they need to hire a social security lawyer in order to apply for benefits. While there is no government or any other organization requirement to have a lawyer represent you during the social security application process, many people choose to do so anyway.

    There are several benefits to hiring a social security lawyer:

    • They can help you to complete the application process more quickly and easily, as they are familiar with all the requirements and can help you to avoid making common mistakes
    • They can help you to understand your rights and options as a social security beneficiary which can be helpful if you are unsure of what you are entitled to
    • If you are denied benefits, they can help you to appeal the decision and represent you in court to try and get your benefits reinstated
    • They can help you to plan for retirement and understand your options for claiming social security benefits
    • They monitor any changes to social security law that could impact your benefits and help you to stay up to date on the latest news

    Overall, hiring a social security lawyer is a wise decision for many people. However, it is important to remember that not all lawyers are created equal, and it is important to do your research before selecting one. You should ask around for recommendations, read reviews, and make sure that the lawyer you choose has a good reputation and plenty of experience with social security law.

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    Documents You May Need To Provide

    We may ask you to provide documents to show that you are eligible, such as:

    • Birth certificate or other proof of birth
    • Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the United States
    • U.S. military discharge paper if you had military service before 1968
    • W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax returns for last year
    • An Adult Disability Report that collects more details about your illnesses, injuries or conditions, and your work history
    • Medical evidence already in your possession. This includes medical records, doctors’ reports, and recent test results and
    • Award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements or other proof of any temporary or permanent workers’ compensation-type benefits you received .


    We accept photocopies of W-2 forms, self-employment tax returns or medical documents, but we must see the original of most other documents, such as your birth certificate.

    Do not delay applying for benefits because you do not have all the documents. We will help you get them.

    Is Your Condition Found In The List Of Disabling Conditions

    How to Apply for Social Security Disability

    For each of the major body systems, we maintain a list of medical conditions that we consider severe enough that it prevents a person from doing substantial gainful activity. If your condition is not on the list, we have to decide if it is as severe as a medical condition that is on the list. If it is, we will find that you are disabled. If it is not, we then go to Step 4.

    We have two initiatives designed to expedite our processing of new disability claims:

    • Compassionate Allowances: Certain cases that usually qualify for disability can be allowed as soon as the diagnosis is confirmed. Examples include acute leukemia, Lou Gehrigs disease , and pancreatic cancer.
    • Quick Disability Determinations: We use sophisticated computer screening to identify cases with a high probability of allowance.

    For more information about our disability claims process, visit our Benefits For People With Disabilities website.

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    Other Requirements For Disability

    Once you establish if you have worked long enough for SSDI or if you are within the income limits for SSI, you will need to meet the medical requirements. These are the same for both SSI and SSDI.

    To medically qualify, you will need to meet a Blue Book listing. The Blue Book is the guide used by the SSA to assess if someone is medically eligible for disability benefits. Within the Blue Book, you can find conditions that qualify for disability benefits and the requirements that need to be met for that specific condition. This includes things like specific test results, doctors notes, medications, treatment options, etc. Look over the Blue Book with your doctor to make sure you medically qualify.

    If you do not medically qualify, but are still unable to work due to the condition you are experiencing, there is still hope. You can request a residual functional capacity form be completed by a doctor. This form will go over the disabling condition you are experiencing, your symptoms, and how they impact your work ability.

    The RFC will demonstrate that you are unable to work in the field you have been trained to work in, and that there is no other work you can do because the condition you are experiencing. It will explain how long you can sit, stand, how much you can lift, your ability to understand, remember and complete tasks, etc.

    Can I Get Ssdi Back Pay

    Yes. Lump sum SSDI back pay is available to claimants who are paid retroactively for those months from the time they became disabled, also known as a disability onset date, and when they applied for SSDI benefits. In addition to SSDI back pay, people who apply for SSI may also receive retroactive benefits as well.

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    We Are With Those Who Need A Helping Hand

    The Supplemental Security Income program is a program that provides income support to people with disabilities, people age 65 or older, or blind, who have low income and resources. U.S. Treasury general funds, not the Social Security trust funds, pay for SSI.

    If you or someone you know may be eligible for SSI, visit to learn more and apply.

    Providing Information About Your Medical Condition

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    Providing proof of your disabling condition is the most important part of applying for Social Security Disability. You will need to provide any medical records you have in your possession and give the Social Security Administration authority to access other medical records.

    The SSA wants to receive information about your condition from your treating physician. This is the doctor who sees you on a regular basis. The SSA only accepts medical information from licensed physicians and prefers to have records provided by experts in the field of medicine related to your disability. If you’re applying because you have cancer, the SSA would expect to see medical records from your oncologist.

    It’s imperative that your doctor fully document your symptoms and any treatments you undergo this will give you the best chance of obtaining SSDI or SSI benefits. The Social Security Administration may also ask you to undergo an examination or evaluation with one of its doctors at some point during the application or appeals process.

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