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What Do You Need To Apply For Social Security Disability

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What Happens If The Disability Application That You Filed Yourself Is Denied In Pennsylvania

Social Security Disability Application- What do I need?

If you do apply without the help of a Social Security Disability lawyer, you may find that your application was denied. In some cases, your application will not be denied outright, and the SSA will simply request additional information. Either situation demonstrates an excellent opportunity to bring an attorney into your case.

If your application requires additional information, our lawyers can help you understand what information you need and help you submit it to the SSA. In some cases, you may be required to fill out medical evaluation forms . These forms are complex, and our lawyers can help you understand what answers to give and how much information to provide.

In the case that your condition is not on the SSAs list of approved disabilities, you may need to submit additional paperwork to verify that your condition or injury meets the SSAs definition of severe and qualifies you for benefits. Our lawyers can also help with this process and fight for a medical-vocational allowance for an unlisted condition.

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.

Do I Need A Social Security Disability Attorney To Apply For Benefits

by Joyce & Bary Law | Apr 17, 2020 | Social Security Disability

As with any legal or government matter, you do not have to have the representation of a Social Security Disability attorney to file a disability claim. You are certainly welcome to represent yourself, fill out the application on your own, and go to the hearing without an attorney. However, there is a difference between a requirement and a need. Just because you are not required to have the representation of a Social Security Disability attorney does not mean that you do not need it. In fact, many reports show that Social Security Disability claimants are more successful with an experienced attorney on their side.

Although you do not have to hire an SSD lawyer, you will likely benefit from doing so when you apply for SSD benefits.

This post includes:

See our Social Security Disability Resource Guide for even more information.

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Information Needed To Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits

Processing claims for disability benefits can take anywhere from 3-5 months. Gathering required information prior to filing a claim may expedite the process. You will need the following information to apply online:

  • Social Security number
  • Basic spousal information
  • Basic information for any children under the age of 18 or those who became disabled before the age of 22
  • Military service, education or training
  • If you are self-employed, business type and total net income
  • If you are not self-employed, name of employer, start and end dates of employment, total earnings for the past two years
  • Direct deposit information
  • Medical information including conditions, doctors, hospitals, clinics at which youve received examinations, tests, treatments, etc.
  • Names, dosages and information of all medications
  • Employment history for the 15 years prior to becoming disabled

To apply over the phone or in person, you will need the majority of the above as well as:

  • Medical records already in your possession
  • Medical and Job Worksheet Adult, which can be found here.

Returning To Work After Ssdi In Pennsylvania

What Do You Need to Apply for Social Security Disability ...

SSDI benefits are there for you when you cannot work due to a disability. However, in many cases, peoples disabilities may improve over time and they could potentially resume working. Other times, SSDI benefits prove to be insufficient, and people wish to supplement their benefits payments with a little extra income. You should consult with an attorney before you resume working after having been approved for SSDI benefits. SSDI does permit you to test your ability to work under a trial work period while also receiving benefit payments. If at the end of your trial work period you are able to return to work, your benefits may end.

If you are earning too much money from working, your SSDI benefits could be at risk. The government usually sets a threshold for gainful activity. If your income exceeds this limit, your SSDI benefits may cease. Speak to our Pennsylvania disability benefits attorneys if you would like to supplement your SSDI benefits with a small income from working. The threshold for gainful activity can change over time and you do not want to run the risk of losing your benefits.

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Why Is Filling Out The Ssa

Ill discuss why filling the form out correctly is so important and walk you through the steps to do so watch the video:

  • SSA-827-BK Authorization to Disclose Information to the SSA

This form is a blanket authorization that gives the SSA the right to retrieve all relevant educational and medical records that may support or deny the validity of your claim for Social Security disability benefits.

Disability Application Checklist Item #: Your Birth Certificate & Social Security Card

Before you can begin receiving benefits, the SSA needs to verify your identity. These two documents certify that you are either an American or a legal resident alien. You can submit a copy of your birth certificate, as long as the issuing agency certifies it first. In other words, you cant just photocopy whatever you have it needs an official government stamp that guarantees its legitimate.

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Appealing Denied Social Security Disability Application

Its common for applicants to be denied. In fact, only about 1 in 3 applicants are initially approved for SSDI benefits. The two main reasons for denial are usually a lack of work credits, or that applicants do not meet the criteria for disability.

If you have been turned down, you do have the right to go through a Social Security Disability appeal process. Either you or your designated representative can file a Request for Reconsideration. Your initial appeal will then be turned over to Disability Determination Services, who will thoroughly review your file.

If you are denied again, you can proceed to the next level of appeal which is to appear in front of an Administrative Law Judge. An Administrative Law Judge will conduct a hearing in which all of your medical records and testimony will be heard before the judge renders a decision in the form of a written notice.

If you are still denied benefits, then you have a final appeal step you can take: filing a lawsuit in U.S. district court. You will need an attorney for this step if you havent already retained one. This can be an expensive and time consuming option, and as a result, less than 1% of disability claimants take their cases to this level.

Social Security Disability Insurance The Basics

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

Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI for short, is that part of the Social Security program that provides benefits for people who are physically unable to remain employed due to long-term disability. Though benefits are generally paid out to people experiencing physical disabilities, they can also be paid for incapacitation related to mental health issues.

SSDI is managed by the Social Security Administration, and is funded through payroll tax deductions, included in FICA payroll taxes.

Thats the general overview of SSDI. But lets get back to why relying entirely on SSDI to cover you in the event of disability is not the best strategy.

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How Do I Know If I Qualify For Social Security Disability Insurance

To be eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance , you must:

  • Have a qualifying disability
  • Have worked long enough and paid into the Social Security program

Our knowledgeable Florida Social Security Disability lawyers will review the SSDI eligibility requirements with you and assess your situation to determine how you should proceed. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Some Publications That Will Give You More Information On Disability Benefits

The Disability Starter Kit will help you get ready for your disability interview or online application. Kits are available for adults and for children under age 18.

The starter kits provide information about the specific documents and the information that we will request from you.

The kits also provide general information about the disability programs and our decision-making process.

Here are some additional resources with information on disability benefits:

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We Will Make Sure Your Disability Benefits Application Is Error

If you hire one of our attorneys for tasks related to your SSDI or SSI application, we will ensure your application is accurate and manage the appeals process as necessary. At our firm, we handle all aspects of your claim, from filing your claim to the appeals process, so that you can focus on your health and well-being.

We will help you understand the SSAs designated conditions and related medical requirements and your status regarding those. If you need further medical evaluation to establish your disability, we can advise you if that is the case.

Complete a Case Evaluation form now

Benefits For Your Spouse

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

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.

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Disability Application Checklist Item #: Your Employment Information

The SSA wants information showing every place you worked in the past 15 years. Be sure to include copies of your latest W2 or tax forms. This disability report form is also required. It details your job titles, employment dates, salary, and work responsibilities. Before the SSA approves you for disability benefits, they want to check and ensure you can no longer perform your previous job tasks. If you cant, theyll try to find you another job that pays a similar monthly wage before they award you benefits.

How Long Does It Take To Get Ssdi Benefits

Unfortunately, the SSDI process can mean lots of waiting, so make it your goal to get approved as early as possible in the process.

Give careful attention to initial application forms, whether you work on them alone or with a representative√Ęs help. Also consider taking an assessment before you fill out a single blank on your application, to ensure the time you invest in the SSDI process is well spent.

National averages are used for this SSDI process timeline. Your state may be different.

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How To Apply For Social Security Disability

Whether youre applying for benefits online or submitting an application through the mail, your process will begin at There, youll find basic information about applying and links to the application and documentation checklist.

You may generally complete your application online if:

  • Youre 18 years of age or older
  • Youre not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record
  • Youre unable to work due to a medical condition and the disability has lasted or is expected to last for more than a year and
  • You have not been denied benefits within the past 60 days.

Youll be asked to submit information about several areas of your life and history, including:

  • Work history and/or self-employment information
  • Information about your medical condition
  • Contact information for your physicians
  • Medication information
  • Banking information and
  • Educational history.

While much of this information is straightforward and clear, its important that these forms are completed carefully and correctly, and that you provide all relevant information. Failure to provide thorough information may delay your claim, or even result in denial.

Once youve submitted your application and documentation, the SSA will either process your application and advise you of its decision by mail, or will contact you to request further information.

The Most Common Reasons Ssd Claims Are Denied

How to Apply for Social Security Disability

A seasoned Social Security Disability attorney is familiar with the reasons that SSD claims are denied and works to avoid them in your case. They can avoid delays in your claim by providing the necessary and correct evidence required with your initial application. They can tell you what steps you can take to strengthen your claim.

Common reasons for SSD claims to be denied include:

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The Sooner You Apply The Better

Application processing may take just weeks for some people, but most applicants end up waiting months to receive a decision. According to a story in AARP, the average process time was reported to be 168 days, roughly 5 months, in November 2021.

Additionally, many applicants are denied benefits the first time they apply. For these people, the time it takes to get approved is far longer as they must appeal the decision. This is primarily due to waiting for a judge to provide a hearing.

For SSDI benefits, there is a mandatory waiting period of five months. The wait period is usually five months from the date of your disability onset, not the date of application approval. This works out favorably for people who apply as soon as they are disabled. By the time you are approved, your waiting period would have expired, meaning you can start receiving disability payments more or less right away.

Where Can You Apply For Disability Benefits

If you are unable to work because of a medical condition, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. You have options for completing your disability application. You may be able to start the process online at the Social Security Administration website, You can also start your application by calling 1-800-772-1213 and speaking to a representative. You can also schedule an appointment at an SSA field office.

There are different processes for applying for SSDI and SSI. You can apply for SSDI online, on the phone, or in person. You must go to your local SSA office to apply for SSI benefits. If you are applying for SSDI and SSI at the same time, you can complete your application for both online. To apply for SSI online, you must be between 18 and 65, have never been married, not blind, and be a U.S. citizen in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands. You must not have applied for or received SSI benefits in the past.

A disability lawyer will be able to determine the best way to proceed with your claim. An attorney will review the details of your case and will go over your medical records, determining if the hard medical evidence that the SSA needs to make a fair assessment of your case is readily available. You will need toprepare a detailed list of all your medical providers, including their names and contact details along with the dates of service.

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Work History Affects Your Disability Determination

The Social Security Disability Insurance program provides benefits to covered workers who become disabled. If you worked and paid Social Security taxesrequired by lawthen you are covered by Social Security. Being covered alone is not enough to help you qualify for Social Security disability insurance benefits.

Your work history must show that you have worked long enough and recently enough to receive them. Essentially, you must have the required amount of work credits to qualify, and a certain number of those credits must have been earned within a specific timeframe.

Credit requirements will vary depending on the age you were when you became disabled. Generally, younger people require fewer credits than older people, but the credit requirements exist on a sliding scale based on age.

Now Is The Best Time To Hire A Social Security Disability Attorney

Do you Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

You will want to bring an attorney into your case as early as possible. If you have found yourself asking the question, Do I need a lawyer to file for Social Security Disability in Winter Park? then it is best to take action now. Contact our office today to learn more about how our attorneys can help.

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What Happens If The Adult Child Gets Married

If he or she receives benefits as a disabled “adult child,” the benefits generally end if he or she gets married. However, some marriages are considered protected.

The rules vary depending on the situation. Contact a Social Security representative at 1-800-772-1213 to find out if the benefits can continue.


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

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