How to Apply for Social Security Disability

The State of Tennessee houses almost four million residents and approximately 5.7 percent of these residents recieve disability benefits from the Social Security Administration or the SSA. Each year thousands more residents apply for these benefits due to permanent or long-term disability; most of these applicants will be denied benefits during the initial stages of the application process. Hiring a qualified disability lawyer will improve your chances of being approved in the initial stages of your application.

To apply for Social Security Disability, you must complete an application form to be reviewed by the Social Security Administration office. You must also provide the necessary documentation to accompany your application and forward this to the SSA. The SSA will then forward your file to be either approved or denied based on the information provided.

The disability benefits application can be filled out online, over the phone, or at your local Social Security Office. You will need to answer questions about the nature of your disability and your previous work history. It is likely that you will have to fill out a detailed ‘Activities of Daily Living’ questionnaire to further aid your application. You will need to provide your medical records to the examiner of your claim and may be asked to partake in a consultative medical examination; there must be evidence that your disability will last for twelve months or longer in order for your application to be approved.

Keep in mind that you are required to provide the Social Security Office with personal information to accompany your application. It can be helpful to have this information at the ready when completing your application. This information can include:

•    social security number
•    birth or baptismal certificate
•    doctors contact information along with the dates of your visits
•    the names and dosages of the medication you are taking
•    complete history of your medical records
•    copy of your most recent W-2
•    detail work history

Evaluation
Once your application has been submitted, the Social Security Office will check your file in order to determine whether you have worked enough to qualify for disability benefits and whether your current employment status disqualifies you from receiving benefits. If you meet these criteria they will then send your application to the Disability Determination Services department for a full review. This is the department that will actual make the decision as to whether or not you will receive benefits.

They will review all of your information and the medical records you have provided and a presiding examiner will determine whether or not they require you to attend a consultation exam. In some cases more than one exam is necessary.

After this evaluation they will approve or deny your application. This is also due to whether or not your specific disability is listed on the Social Security Listing of Impairments and whether or not you are able to perform the work you were doing prior to your claim or any work at all. Once your claim has been approved or denied you will be sent a letter notifying you of this decision. If your claim has been approved you will be told the amount of monthly benefits and when those benefits will begin. If your claim is denied the letter will contain the reason for its denial and information on how to begin the appeals process.

It takes between three and six months for an applicant to receive a decision. The only exception to this rule are those applicants who qualify for Social Security’s Compassionate Allowance program. This helps people with severe disabilities get approved more quickly – in as little as twenty days.

If you need help with your Social Security Disability claim, contact the Professional Social Security Disability Lawyers at Bill Hotz and Associates today! Call 865-637-9000 or contact us online!