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Tips for Filing an Application for Disability Benefits

Making a claim for Social Security disability benefits begins with the filing of an application with the Social Security Administration. We strongly recommend hiring an experienced Social Security disability lawyer BEFORE filing an application. If you say the wrong thing in your application, or even if you say the right thing in the wrong way, you may permanently damage your chances of obtaining SSD benefits.

How to File an Application for Social Security Disability Benefits

However, if you do decide to proceed on your own, the Social Security Administration makes the process fairly easy. You can complete some or all of the forms online at www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability, or you can call the Social Security Administration’s toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, to schedule an appointment. You can find the most convenient Social Security office at www.socialsecurity.gov/locator. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call the toll-free “TTY” number, 1-800-325-0778, Monday through Friday.

The following suggestions are adapted from the Social Security Administration Web site:

If you are going to apply in person or by phone, there are certain items of information you should have with you. However, you should keep your appointment, even if you do not have all of the information. The Social Security Administration may be able to help you get any missing information. This is what you will need:

  • Names, addresses and phone numbers of all doctors, therapists, hospitals, and clinics who treated your illnesses, injuries, or conditions, or who you expect to treat you in the future.
  • Patient ID numbers and dates seen.
  • Names of medicines you are taking, dosages taken, and dates taken.
  • Medical records in your possession.
  • Illnesses, injuries, or conditions limiting your ability to work.
  • Date you became unable to work because of your medical condition
    (month/day/year).
  • If applicable, Medical Assistance Number (Medicaid or other).
  • An original or certified copy of your birth certificate. If you were born in another country, the Social Security Administration will also need proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency.
  • If you were in the military service, the original or certified copy of your military discharge papers (Form DD 214) for all periods of active duty.
  • If you worked, your W-2 Form from last year; or if you were self-employed, your federal income tax return (IRS 1040 and Schedules C and SE.
  • Workers’ compensation information, including date of injury, claim number and proof of payment amounts.
  • Social Security Numbers for your spouse and minor children.
  • Your checking or savings account number, if you have one.
  • Name, address and phone number of a person the Social Security Administration can contact if they are unable to get in touch with you.
  • Kinds of jobs and dates you worked in the 15 years before you became unable to work.

This is obviously a long and complex list of items and information. However, you will have a lot of time to get these materials together.

Remember, the more information you can provide to the Social Security Administration, the less work they will have to do in order to make a decision on your claim. Remember also that Kraft & Associates, P.C., will be glad to consult with you at any stage of your claim.

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