Before you are filing for disability benefits there a few things you should know. First, there are two types of disability programs. The first is Social Security Disability, the other is SSI, (Supplemental Security Income). Both require the same documents but not the same qualifications.
Social Security is disability for workers who have physical or mental impairments or conditions, the other, (SSI), is for people who are at least 65 years of age, blind, and have little or no income. For those who qualify for SSI, they may receive Social Security disability and SSI. Also, the agency refers to any medical condition as an “impairment”.
How to Apply and What Documents are Needed
For both programs, you can apply either online, by phone, mail, or at a local social security office. The documents you will need for social security disability are – two years of W-2’s, birth certificate, name and address of the doctors or hospitals you attended to address your physical or mental impairments, a list of all medications you are taking, social security card, and the treatment dates associated with the impairment. Keep in mind, the process to receive disability benefits can take between three and six months. Any documents not given in the beginning of the process can delay benefit payments.
Key Factors of Consideration
There are two determinations considered when filing. For social security benefits, the first is determined by the social security office. They determine the “non-medical” aspect of the process. Your employment history, regarding the length of time you were employed to see if you have accumulated enough time and payment into your social security through taxes paid into it., and if your employer has taken out disability insurance for you. Also considered is your age, and when the medical conditions began. They use the medical information from previous doctors or hospitals you attended, and sometimes require a person to receive additional information from other medical facilities, at their expense. They use information such as: when the medical or mental condition began, and the time it became an issue regarding your job performance. What does your job require you to do, your education? All of this determines a timeline of your condition and when payments should begin.
Supplemental Security Income, (SSI)
If these requirements are not met using those criteria, you may meet requirements for supplemental security income, (SSI). This program asks additional questions. Are you married? Have children? Payments for both spouse and children may be taken. If these requirements are not met using those criteria, you may meet requirements for supplemental security income, (SSI). This program asks additional questions. Are you married? Have children? Payments for both spouse and children may be taken into consideration. At this point your application, if approved, goes to a State agency for their determination and approval.
They determine the “medical” part of your application. For an application to be approved, and go the next phase, the medical conditions must be looked at as one so severe the person cannot be gainfully employed for a year or is expected to die. The office looks at all the previously submitted documents to make their decision. If denied or approved the next step is a quality review, making sure all steps were followed according to the agency’s laws and regulations and any information missing is acquired before a final determination is made. If denied the applicant can request an appeal.
Qualifying or Affected Medical or Mental Conditions
- Musculoskeletal System
- Special Senses & Speech
- Respiratory Disorders
- Cardiovascular System
- Digestive System
- Genitourinary Disorders
- Hematological Disorders
- Skin Disorders
- Endocrine Disorders
- Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body System
- Neurological Disorders
- Mental Disorders
- Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases)
- Immune System Disorders
You can obtain additional information and submit a claim for either disability program at the following: 1-800-772-1213 or TTY 1-800-325-0778 to schedule an appointment, (a starter package will be sent to you), or go to www.socialsecurity.gov or any field office to request an interview. Please note that the process for children’s disability is different, go to the above website for information.
Social Security is a very important part of any person’s retirement, without it, you won’t have any income when you retire. But getting these benefits is not possible unless you apply, so let’s learn the different ways you can apply for Social Security. There are a few different ways that you can apply for Social Security benefits, some ways may be easier than others for some, so that’s why we will discuss all of the ways you can apply, so you can choose the method that works best for you. Here are some of the most common ways to apply:
- Over the telephone
- In person
How to Apply Online
Applying online is one of the easiest ways to apply for Social Security, all you have to do to apply online is fill out the online application on the SSA’s website and send it in. This application can also be used for Medicare as well.
Applying By Phone
Another simple way to apply for Social Security Benefits is to simply call and sign up over the phone. There are two separate numbers that you can call when applying for Social Security, the first number is 1-800-772-1213, the second number is for those that can’t hear that well or are deaf 1-800-325-0778.
Applying In Person
Applying in person ensures that everything is correct and that there is no miscommunication, there is nothing like human-to-human contact. All you have to do to apply in person is call your local Social Security office and make an appointment to come in, this will ensure that you aren’t waiting for a long time and that your application is processed correctly.
Applying Outside of the U.S Along With Requirements
You can also apply if you are currently residing outside of the U.S. All you have to do is go to the nearest U.S Embassy and ask to apply for Social Security, of course, you must be a U.S citizen to do so. It is important to learn the requirements for receiving Social Security benefits so that you aren’t wasting your time with an application when you don’t even meet the requirements. Here are the basic requirements:
- In order to sign up for Social Security, you must be at least 61 years and 9 months old.
- In order to get the benefits immediately, you must be 62 years of age.
- Apply less than 4 months before the benefit’s start date.
Understanding the Benefit Process
The benefits process is very simple when it comes to Social Security. Your first benefits will come one month after the sign-up, so you always get the benefits from the previous month.
What Information Is Needed to Apply?
When you apply for Social Security benefits, there may be some information that is required of you, this is to make sure that everything adds up and that you are eligible for the benefits. Here is the information you will need:
- Your personal Social Security card
- Your birth certificate
- Proof that you are a U.S citizen
- Your tax information from the previous year.
If you don’t have all of the necessary information to sign up, this should not hold you back, you can still apply with the information that you do have and you can always send in the other information at a later time. The Social Security office may even help you to obtain that information.
Signing Up For Direct Deposit
When you sign up for Social Security, it is important that you bring your banking information so that you can sign up for Direct Deposit. This is the best way to receive the benefits because it is automatically added to your account.
Choosing a Benefits Program
There are several different types of benefits programs that you can sign up for when applying. It is important that you choose the benefits program that best fits your needs, here are the different types of benefits available:
- Retirement benefits
- Spouse benefits
- Child benefits
How to Get the Best Benefits
In order to get the best benefits available, it is important that you don’t delay signing up for Social Security. If you do wait there is no guarantee that you will be able to get all of the benefits that you would if you were to sign up as soon as you are eligible.