Prep Work: Getting Started On Your Social Security Claim

Posted on: 27 July 2017

If you can no longer work at your job because of an illness or injury, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has a benefit that pays you monthly if you qualify. Since the application process is somewhat confusing and can take a very long time to complete, you may want to take some steps before you begin to help ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. Spending some time and getting it right could pay off in a quicker approval, so read on for some important prep work to get your claim started.

Showing Proof

Not everyone gets approved for disability benefits, and one of the main issues that can lead to a denial is failing to prove that you have a medical or mental condition that is preventing you from doing your job. The SSA needs to see that you have a medical or mental condition that appears on their list of covered conditions and that you have sought treatment for that condition. Further, you must show that this condition has prevented you from working at your job for a year, or that you expect it will do so for a year. For example, while two broken legs is certainly debilitating and could prevent you from working for some time, the SSA will need to see proof that your condition will not improve within that time frame to approve your benefits. 

Work Credits

Another sticking point when it comes to Social Security Disability is the length of your employment. Since this benefit is based on how long you have worked and how much money you have made, you may find yourself coming up short if you don't meet the requirements. You may have to apply for a different type of disability, Supplemental Security Income, instead. This program doesn't consider your work credits, but is aimed at people who have very little income or property.

Get Organized

Your application process could go quite a bit quicker if you assemble the needed documents beforehand. Have the following on hand:

  • Work history: you will need information about the last several years of employment, including position descriptions, supervisors names and addresses for the company.
  • Dates: Be sure to pinpoint exactly when you became unable to work at your job; this information must be accurate since it will be verified with your employer.
  • Education. List all training, colleges and certifications.
  • Military service information.
  • Information about current and past spouses, including names and dates of marriage and divorce or death.
  • Information about any children under the age of 18 that live with you.
  • Medical information. Having complete and accurate information about your condition could make or break your case. You will need a list of all doctors, treatments, diagnosis, medications, and medical procedures and facilities.

For more information, contact a firm such as Cohen & Siegel LLP.

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Presenting Your Case

After I was involved in a serious car accident, I knew that there had to be something I could do to prove my case. I was being sued by the other drivers for causing the accident, when I knew that I wasn't at fault. Instead of laying down and paying the money that I knew I didn't owe, I decided to work with a personal injury attorney to present my case. My lawyer did everything they could to prove my innocence, and when I was vindicated a few months later, it was an amazing feeling. This blog is all about presenting your case with the help of an attorney.

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