How Do I Apply for Social Security Disability?

Post by: Eric Jones | Posted Date: August 22nd, 2016 | Categories: Social Security Disability


Filing for Social Security disability requires completing a lengthy application form and submitting numerous documents that detail your health history, disability diagnosis, medical treatment and physical/occupational therapy plans, work history, education, military service, current income, investments, savings, property holdings, and household expenses. The documentation is need to learn the nature and extent of the disability, the applicant’s likelihood of returning to work, the applicant’s potential for earning a living wage by reentering the workforce, the applicant’s access to funds other than public assistance, and the applicant’s eligibility for other kinds of government assistance.

The Ohio Social Security disability attorneys who work with the Jones Law Group discuss these basic requirements on our How to Apply for Social Security Disability webpage. Before you jump into the application process, however, you must know several things:

  • Not everyone who lives and works in the United States is eligible to apply for benefits through the federal program officially known as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
  • Parents, guardians, caregivers, and legal representatives can apply for SSDI benefits on behalf of children and disabled adults.
  • Each applicants has the legal right to work with and be represented by a disability attorney of his or her choice at all stages of the process for SSDI applications, hearings, appeals, and reviews.
  • Multiple appeals and federal lawsuits are available to SSDI applicants who have claims for disability benefits denied.
  • Receiving Social Security payments does not automatically disqualify beneficiaries from receiving other kinds of federal and state needs-based assistance from agencies like Ohio Workers’ Compensation and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Diagnoses and prognoses from an SSDI applicant’s own doctors and therapists are subject to confirmation and reconsideration by health care providers named by the Social Security Administration.

A good way to learn how each of these caveats and considerations apply to your own application for Social Security disability is to sit down for an in-depth consultation with an experienced disability lawyer. Here, we dive a little deeper into the questions of who can apply and what the Social Security Association does to check on the status of a person who claims a disability. To schedule an appointment to learn more, call the Jones Law Group at (614) 545-9998 or contact us online.

Who Can Apply?

Briefly, U.S. citizens older than 18 who suffer an injury, illness, or chronic condition that leaves them unable to work for a lengthy period is eligible to request SSDI benefits if he or she has paid into Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Workers contribute to the federal safety net programs through the F.I.C.A. withholdings from each paycheck or self-employment taxes. Spending a career making contributions to non-Social Security government retirement programs like the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System can disqualify you from SSDI.

U.S. citizens younger than 18 are also eligible to apply for Social Security disability, but an adult who is responsible for the child or the child’s legal interests must handle the paperwork. Legal U.S. residents who are not citizens can be eligible when they meet certain criteria.

Almost any physical, mental, or emotional condition can qualify as a disability under SSDI rules. The one qualifier is that the condition must have persisted for at least a year or have a high probability for proving fatal within months or a couple of years of the date on which a benefits application is submitted.

The final basic eligibility criterion is that a person cannot be approved to receive SSDI benefits if he or she is currently receiving Social Security payments for other reasons.

How Does Social Security Confirm a Disability?

SSDI case officers rely heavily on the information supplied by an applicant’s doctors and therapists. They can also ask an applicant to submit to physical examinations, vocational assessments, and home visits by health care providers and other experts it chooses. These follow-ups can occur while an application or appeal is being considered or after benefits have already been awarded. Evidence that an applicant or beneficiary is healthy or failing to comply with a care plan can lead to a denial or cancellation of benefits.



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