When you suffer from medical problems, whether physical or mental in nature, it can sometimes be difficult for you to continue earning enough money to support yourself and your family. In some cases, you may be eligible to apply for Social Security disability benefits, however a number of requirements must be met beforehand.
Obtain a valid medical diagnosis from your doctor. This will require documented proof that you are disabled and unable to work because of your medical disability. You will need to present Social Security with a list of all doctors and hospitals you attended on account of your condition, documented paperwork containing the dates of your appointments, and any tests you have undergone. You will also need proof of prescription medications given to treat your condition.
Compile all of the information needed when you fill out the SSI disability application. You will need to present work history up to the 15 years prior to your injury. You will also need your birth certificate and paperwork relating to any time you may have spent in the military. Bank account information and the Social Security numbers for your spouse and dependent children are also required, as well as W-2s and IRS tax information relating to any work you performed in the year leading up to your application.
Fill out the online application, and submit it. You can obtain the application at the official government Web site. (http://www.ssa.gov/applyfordisability/adult.htm) They will contact you to set up a time to conduct a telephone interview regarding your eligibility to receive SSI disability benefits.
Wait while the Social Security office reviews your case. During this time, they will assess the information presented by your doctors and compare it to your work history, including any work you may have performed in the year leading up to your application. They will also determine what level of work, if any, you are capable of performing during this time. It can take three to five months for the office to review your case and make a decision.
Attend any medical examinations and appointments scheduled for you by the Social Security agency. They may require you to undergo further examinations to determine the severity of your disability and whether or not you are able to work.
Review the options presented to you by the Social Security office. Your ability to work in another field may prohibit you from obtaining disability benefits. If you are denied by the office, you may appeal the decision and reapply. This does take a considerable amount of time, and there are no guarantees that you will be found disabled and eligible to receive benefits in the future.
You can make your filing process move more quickly by getting all of your paperwork in order before you file a claim.
Things You'll Need
Social Security disability application
Proof of prior medical history
Proof of income and savings