4 Steps in Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits in Ohio

Post by: Eric Jones | Posted Date: April 10th, 2018 | Categories: Social Security Disability

As Ohio Social Security disability attorneys, we spend a lot of time explaining how to apply for Social Security disability. The process is relatively straightforward, but it is time-consuming, and paying attention to all the details is essential, missing a step or rushing through the application can make it impossible to receive desperately-needed financial support.

Here, we lay out the four basic steps for filing for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.


Step 1. Determine Your Social Security Eligibility

Do not spend time filing for Social Security disability benefits if you do not participate in the federal retirement program. State and local government employees, including police and firefighters, are not covered by Social Security if they only ever held government jobs. Similarly, public school teachers, most public school support staff, and public college and university faculty who never worked in the private sector will not be able to qualify for SSDI. Such individuals can speak with an Ohio Social Security disability attorney to figure out their options for securing disability benefits through a program like the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System.

Paying into Social Security is just the first SSDI eligibility requirement. You must also

  • Be older than 18 and a U.S. citizen;
  • Not currently be receiving disability, retirement, or supplemental income benefits from Social Security; and
  • Suffer from a long-term disability whose symptoms leave you unable to work or near death.

Parents who are not disabled can apply for SSDI benefits on behalf of their dependent child who have permanent disabilities as long as the parents meet the other Social Security eligibility requirements.


Step 2. Figure Out if Your Suffer From a Qualifying Disability

SSDI benefits are only available to individuals with permanent and long-term disabilities. The program posts extensive lists of conditions it recognizes as disabling for adults and children to its website. To qualify for Social Security disability payments, you will need either a confirmed diagnosis of one of the listed conditions or a great deal of medical evidence for the disabling effects of a condition that is not listed.

You will also need to provide evidence that your physical or mental condition leaves you unable to perform all or most of the actions required by a job you are qualified to hold. Some of the actions listed on a form that is often used to assess the degree of a disability are speaking, hearing, talking, walking, bending, and abstract thinking.


Step 3. Complete the SSDI Application

The SSDI application form is available online. You can start it, save your progress, and fill in all the sections over several days or a couple of weeks. Taking your time to ensure all the information is correct and accurate will increase your chances for getting approved to receive benefits.

You have the right to consult with an attorney while filing for Social Security disability, and you should not hesitate to seek advice from a person who understands the system.

Equally important, the person who will receive the SSDI benefits does not need to be the person who fills out and submits the application. Parents can file for their children, and caregivers can file for adult family members or for patients for whom they serve as trustees.


Step 4. Be Prepared to Appeal a Denial of Benefits

A significant percentage of first-time applications for SSDI benefits get rejected, often for technical reasons. The Social Security program permits applicants to appeal several times. While going through appeals, applicants are asked to submit additional information and go through hearings. An Ohio Social Security disability lawyer can assist at each stage and speak for a client during a hearing. If formal appeals fail to secure benefits, a Social Security disability attorney can then file a lawsuit against the program.

Lastly, each applicant’s situation will differ from others, so seeking the advice of a disability lawyer in Columbus, Ohio is crucial when applying. If you are applying for SSDI benefits, feel free to contact us to ask for clarifications or request additional information. You can schedule a consultation online or call us at (614) 545-9998 to set up an appointment.

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