If you suffered an injury or illness and cannot work, you may qualify for disability through the Social Security Administration (SSA). The program offers monetary benefits to eligible individuals as a form of insurance, and you pay a type of premium through mandatory deductions from your paycheck. The process for obtaining benefits can be complicated, so generally, the best course of action is to work with one of our Social Security Disability attorneys in Tacoma. Below is an overview of how to apply for Social Security Disability may help.
Logistical Considerations of Applying for SSDI
First, you should be aware of how you can file your application because it affects how you’ll prepare. If you want to go online, the SSA website guides you through the process. You can also apply by phone or at your local office, and there’s a serious of questions the claims examiner will ask. Through either approach, you’ll need to have all your documentation and information ready to ensure a streamlined process.
Review Your Work History
Your employment details are a key factor in your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application since you must have worked a certain number of years and paid into Social Security taxes under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). The measurement of your history is based upon work credits, and you can earn up to four per year.
For this part of the application, you should have your most recent W-2 or 1099 handy, along with notes on your work history.
Gather Your Medical Documentation
There are two methods that the SSA uses to process the medical side of your application. The first is whether your condition meets or equals an illness or injury listed on the SSA Listing of Impairments, familiarly known as the “Blue Book.” Your application will move forward quickly if it fits the description.
The second way to qualify for SSDI is having a condition that prevents you from working or limits your ability to earn an income at a certain level. With either of the two methods, this section of the SSDI application will require you to provide detailed medical records, doctor’s notes, paperwork on your treatment, and numerous other documents.
Await a Response
The SSA will need time to process your application, so you can expect a waiting period while the claims examiner reviews your information. If there are any mistakes or omissions, you can expect considerable delays. In fact, a high number of applications are denied in the first round because the SSA is meticulous about eligibility factors for SSDI.
Prepare for Next Steps
Denials don’t end the SSDI application process, but it does mean you’ll need to provide more information and/or correct errors to get approval. Next steps may include reconsideration or an appeal, both of which can be very complicated.
Talk to an SSDI Lawyer About Applying for Disability Benefits
Instead of going it alone and risking your right to receive SSDI benefits, you should retain an experienced disability attorney to assist from the start. For more information on how we can help with the application process, please contact the Alliance Law Group and our Social Security Disability attorneys to set up a consultation.