When first getting started on the Social Security Disability claim application, you may feel overwhelmed and intimidated by the dense procedures involved and the high denial rates. With the help of Adams Law Group, you can rest assured that we will thoroughly assess your eligibility for disability benefits and quickly begin working on building the strongest claim possible. Our firm also makes it a point to educate clients about the application process and to clear up any confusion you may have.
The application process for disability benefits is a lengthy experience, taking anywhere from three to five months to reach a final determination. If you are able to provide extensive, clear and strong information and documentation, you can greatly expedite the process and receive the benefits you need without delay. According to the Social Security Administration, the essential information you should supply include:
- Your Social Security number and proof of your age
- Names and contact information of the health care providers you visited
- The dates of your visits to medical professionals for treatment or care
- All relevant medical records related to your disability
- Laboratory and test results
- Detailed information about your work history
- Your most recent W-2 form or a copy of your federal tax return
With more than three decades of legal experience and a strong working knowledge of the information the SSA will look for in your application, our attorneys can help you compile these essential elements. We can also provide you with strategies to improve the strength of your claim, including what medical documentation you should include. If you are interested in having certain family members receive benefits under your record, we can also help you compile their information, including their Social Security numbers, proof of age and proof of marriage, when necessary.
Qualifying for Disability Benefits
The initial stage of your application will revolve around an assessment of your eligibility to receive benefits. Conducted by both the SSA and Disability Determination Services (DDS), the qualifying criteria are extremely strict. In fact, the SSA reports that more than 65% of applicants are denied during this stage in the process. When it comes to determining your eligibility, the two main elements considered will be your work history and your medical condition.
Work Credit History
The SSA will first assess your application by focusing on your work credit history. As Social Security is a tax fund program, you are required to have paid taxes through your work wages for a sufficient amount of time. This means that you need to provide evidence that you have a consistent work history, as well as ample tax information. To put it simply, you must have worked long enough, and recently enough, to be "insured" by the SSA and to receive benefits.
Once the SSA has determined that you are eligible to receive benefits according to your work history, the DDS will then focus on determining if your medical condition is severe enough to be considered a disability. The SSA only pays benefits for total disability, and they have a strict definition of what constitutes a disabled person:
- You cannot do the work you did prior to your disability
- The SSA determines you cannot adjust to other types of work or employment
- Your disability lasts, or is expected to last, for one year or until death
Meeting the requirements for disability will depend on your medical condition and how it prevents you from working any type of job. The DDS will consider all your relevant medical treatment, test results and relevant information. If your disability is severe and truly prevents you from gaining employment, you have a strong chance of being approved.
Building Strong Applications
At Adams Law Group, we know that all applications are unique. This is why we devote our efforts and attention to providing you with personally tailored support and assistance. With our help, you can be confident that your claim will have ample supporting evidence for both your work history and your medical condition. If you would like to learn more about your disability application, or if you would like to speak with a compassionate and dedicated attorney from our firm, contact Adams Law Group today.