How do I Apply for Disability Benefits - Notes on Applying for Disability
You are allowed to apply for disability benefits online at the social security administration website. However, for the vast majority of individuals it will be more practical to apply for disability benefits by contacting the social security office nearest to where you live. Why? Because applying in this fashion will allow you to set up an appointment for a disability application interview and will also allow you the opportunity to ask direct questions regarding your specific situation (i.e. Are you still working and applying? Are you applying for a child?, etc).
After you've made the decision to apply for disability benefits, here are a couple of "information areas" you may wish to "research" prior to having your interview conducted. Let's start with work history. The social security administration will ask you to provide your work history for the last fifteen years and so it may not be a bad idea to write down, in advance, all the jobs you've had in this time, including dates of employment and a good description of what you actually did at each job. Doing this in advance of the actual interview can make the disability application interview an easier and less stressful experience. By the same token, you may want to write down a record of your medical treatment since this information will be requested also. And, in doing so, you should probably include the names of all your doctors, the name of each medical facility that provided you treatment, and your dates of treatment.
Why is your work history important when you apply for disability? Because the social security disability and SSI process will compare your present physical and mental capabilities (known as residual functional capacity) to the requirements of the jobs you have performed in the past. This is done to determine whether or not you can return to one of your past jobs. Why is your medical history important? Because the list of doctors and hospitals you provide will form the basis for the task of gathering your various medical records. And the information contained in these records will essentially determine whether or not you are disabled accorded to the disability criteria used by the social security administration.
Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog
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