What you Need to Apply for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) scheme, which is intended to provide a successful applicant, who has suffered a disability and is unable to work, with a monthly income. Although not required, retaining the services of an attorney experienced in disability benefits is crucial for shepherding the applicant’s SSDI application through the SSA process, in an effort to ensure that the applicants is able to receive these benefits. While some may believe the SSDI application to be the initial step to receiving SSDI benefits, in reality, a lot of measures must be completed ahead of time to help file out the application, and give it a reasonable chance at getting approved. Recently, the SSA, as a result of a dramatic drop in submitted SSDI applications, revised its estimate as to how long it believes the SSDI scheme will be viable before funds are depleted, extending it to 2032. While fewer applications being filed has no bearing on whether a particular application is approved or denied, it should have an effect on the length of time it takes the application to progress through the SSA. A discussion of pre-application steps an individual should take in regards to his/her SSDI application will follow below.
Applying for SSDI Benefits – Medical Consultation
As alluded to above, the actual SSDI application is not the first step in applying for SSDI benefits; in other words, a disabled individual should not think that all he/she needs to do is fill out a form and money will be forthcoming. Rather, the applicant should do the necessary legwork to gain the knowledge and obtains the pertinent information that can potentially lead to a successful SSDI application. Thus, the first issue that must be resolved is whether an applicant’s condition qualifies as a disability for purposes of SSDI.
For this, the first person the application should consult is his/her medical professional (or, potentially, his/her medical professional team, especially if he/she has been seeing a number of specialists for a chronic issue) to see if he/she will support the applicant’s SSDI claim. This support is essential to success, because the SSA will require documentation of the applicant’s disability in the form of medical evidence. Thus, informing the medical professional of the applicant’s intention to file an SSDI application is necessary to this process, and should be accompanied with a request for a copy of the applicant’s complete medical file.
Additionally, requesting the medical professional to provide a detailed statement of the applicant’s medical condition is a beneficial step, as is a request that the medical professional provide his/her opinion of the depth of the applicant’s disability, especially as it relates to the applicant’s occupation. In fact, in situations in which the medical professional may be unfamiliar with SSDI protocol, it may be worthwhile to provide the medical professional with documentation regarding what the SSA looks for when determining the extent of an applicant’s injury.
Additionally, it is crucial to speak to an attorney experienced in SSDI procedures. While, they cannot speak to an applicant’s medical situation, they can provide the applicant with a roadmap for a potentially successful application, which the applicant can then provide to his/her medical professional. It is also important for the applicant’s legal counsel to understand the situation, so that when at the hearing, which is almost guaranteed given the percentage of disability denials, they can speak from a basis of knowledge when attempting to persuade the SSA judge of the merits of the applicant’s SSDI application.
If you are considering submitting an application SSDI benefits, are at the pre-application stage, and what to be sure that your application has the best chance at success possible, contact an experienced SSDI benefits attorney to help you begin the process. The attorneys at Farrell Disability Law have the experience necessary to help you not only prepare a successful SSDI application, but also to navigate your application through the SSA. Contact our Jacksonville office today.