Requesting Social Security disability payments can be very stressful if the individual does not understand the agency’s process. Social Security disability payments (SSI) are provided to U.S. citizens with a medical condition that prevents them from working for a year or longer. Social Security scrutinizes the individual’s application to determine if he or she qualifies for these payments.
Following the proper steps in the application process may help to increase the likelihood of the qualified applicant’s receipt of Social Security disability payments. Parmele Law helps clients navigate the complex Social Security disability application process.
Take these steps to apply for Social Security disability:
- Step #1: Begin the Social Security disability process as soon as possible when a physician diagnoses a serious illness or injury preventing the applicant from working for at least one year. Contact Social Security by phone to request a hard copy application or fill out the Social Security disability application online.
- Step #2: Many applicants say that the application forms are complex and lengthy. It may take four to five months for Social Security to decide if the applicant qualifies for benefits. A Social Security disability law firm can assist applicants in preparing and submitting the application. In addition, an experienced law firm can assist the applicant in avoiding delays. A Social Security disability attorney can also advise about the preparation of supplementary paperwork required in the application process.
- Step #3: The applicant should continue to receive medical treatments as necessary. The applicant’s physician prepares notes after each office visit or procedure. The Social Security disability applicant should request doctor’s notes and/or a letter from one or more physicians regarding his or her medical condition and how it affects the ability to work. Send copies of doctor’s notes and records to Social Security by fax or mail to support the claim for disability benefits.
- Step #4: Contact the Social Security office to check claim status. A disability examiner assigned to the case can confirm if all necessary paperwork has been received. If additional paperwork is needed, submit the information promptly. Fax the paperwork or send by U.S. certified mail. Remember that Social Security is simultaneously reviewing many applicants’ applications and claims for Social Security disability.
- Step #5: Social Security may request that the applicant meet with a medical doctor or psychologist. Bring relevant records to the meeting to share in case the provider needs them.
Applying for Social Security disability benefits is a lengthy, complex process. Many qualified applicants are denied benefits because of administrative or technical issues. It is important to provide Social Security with the information necessary to receive approval of the claim. A Social Security disability law firm guides applications through SSA’s process and zealously advocates for the disabled person.