Applying for Social Security Disability

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Applying for social security disability (SSD) benefits is a process that you should consider starting if you are disabled and cannot work.

How To Apply For SSD

Starting the application for SSD benefits is a simple task, but having assistance can assure that your application is as strong as possible. Many claimants do not know or understand the complicated rules that will be applied to their case. Knowing these rules can make the difference between winning or losing. The application can be started online, through the mail or on the phone. However, it is important to be aware that a Social Security Administration (SSA) representative may want to do a phone interview in order to gather more information about an applicant’s specific situation. Additional information will need to be mailed to the SSA, so the entire application process cannot be completed online or over the phone.

Starting the Application Process

It can be very advantageous to hire an attorney at the application stage. When possible, we assist claimants in starting the application process through the website of the SSA. Although not every portion of the application can be completed online, starting the initial application on a computer is easy and helps applicants maintain a record related to their application.

Another option is visiting a social security office. A representative at an office can talk to individuals about their reason for filing for SSD benefits. This representative will be able to assist individuals with filling out paperwork and can advise applicants on the next step that must be taken to complete the application process.

There are several forms that must be included with an application in order for it to be considered complete. Form SSA-16-BK, also known as the Application for Disability Insurance Benefits, is the initial form that lets the SSA know that a person is applying for benefits.

Form SSA-3368-BK, also known as the Adult Disability Report, provides the SSA with detailed information about a disability. This form will be carefully evaluated by the SSA to determine whether the applicant truly suffers from a disability that makes it impossible for the individual to work.

Getting Help With Applying

It is very common for SSD benefit applications to be denied, and many people find that they must appeal the decision because they did not provide the SSA with enough information (or the right information) about their disability. Hiring an SSD lawyer helps an applicant navigate through the application process and takes the overwhelming stress of the process off of the shoulders of the applicant.

An attorney is able to ensure that an application is complete when it is first submitted. Attorneys are also able to work in conjunction with medical professionals to make sure that the SSA gets all of the information needed to make a fair decision. I have ten years of experience in social security cases and appeals, and am ready to fight for your benefits. Contact me today to get started on your case.

How Your Doctor Can Help

Medical professionals play a key role in the SSD benefit application process. Many applicants find that they are denied the benefits they need because they do not have adequate medical records detailing their disability. It is important for applicants to work closely with doctors who understand their disability and are dedicated to keeping an accurate record of visits, treatments, medications and symptoms.

Doctors can provide additional assistance during the application process by writing a statement to the SSA that details a patient’s need for disability benefits. One form that the SSA looks at closely during the application process is the residual functional capacity (RFC) form. This paperwork is filled out by a doctor and describes the limitations suffered by the applicant.

Some doctors are not supportive of a patient’s decision to apply for SSD benefits. Applicants should discuss their concerns with their doctor as soon as they make the decision to file for benefits in order to ensure that their doctor is willing to help with the application process.

Ruth F. Kolb, Esquire has been practicing social security disability law since 2003 handling all levels of representation from initial claims through all stages of appeal.