What Benefits am I Entitled To?
You may be entitled to Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits if you are unable to work due to a medical condition that is expected to last a minimum of 12 months. In order to begin the application process, you need to contact the Social Security Administration. An initial application for benefits can be filed online at ssa.gov or you can contact your local Social Security office to complete the paperwork. Our office generally does not assist you with filing your initial application. Unfortunately, it can take months for the Social Security Administration to process an application for benefits, so you should begin the application process as soon as you become disabled.
The following information is requested by the Social Security Administration when filing your application for benefits:
- Your Social Security number;
- Your birth or baptismal certificate;
- Names, addresses and phone numbers of the doctors, caseworkers, hospitals and clinics that took care of you and dates of your visits;
- Names and dosage of all the medicine you take;
- Medical records from your doctors, therapists, hospitals, clinics and caseworkers that you already have in your possession;
- Laboratory and test results;
- A summary of where you worked and the kind of work you did; and
- A copy of your most recent W-2 Form (Wage and Tax Statement) or, if you are self-employed, your federal tax return for the past year.
Once your application is completed, the Social Security Administration will begin reviewing your information in order to make a determination on whether you are disabled. Often times they will refer your claim to Disability Determination Services (DDS) for their assistance in gathering more information. Do not be surprised if you get additional forms from SSA or DDS to complete before they make their decision. Once a decision is made, you will be notified by letter. If you are denied, you have sixty (60) days to appeal the decision. Given the short period of time in order to appeal, it is recommended that you contact our office immediately after you receive the denial letter so that no time is wasted.