Submitting an application for Social Security Disability is not an easy task. The application process is long and cumbersome. To help make the process run a lot smoother, it is a good idea to gather the necessary items prior to beginning the process with your Social Security Disability attorney. Below is a list of the information that you will need:
- Names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers for your spouse, ex-spouse, and any minor children.
- Dates of all marriages and divorces, including locations.
- Checking or savings account information for direct deposit of benefit checks.
- A list of all the doctors you have treated with since you became disabled.
- A current list of your medications.
- Any medical records you have in your possession.
- A complete list of the work you have performed in the past 15 years, including length at each job, job title, and salary for each.
- A copy of your birth certificate.
- Information regarding receipt of workers compensation benefits or unemployment benefits.
- Name, address, and phone number of a person to contact if SSA is unable to reach you.
- And finally, a list of all of your medical conditions which affect your ability to work.
By having this information ready when you start the application process, you will cut the application time in half and make the process smoother and less stressful. Social Security requires all of this information to determine if you meet the technical and medical requirements of the program.
When Social Security is determining whether you qualify, they will first consider whether you are working and earning over substantial gainful activity. Substantial gainful activity (SGA) is any work that you perform where your earnings gross a certain amount per month. What this means, is that if you are working and grossing more than the current SGA of $1,130 per month, then you will be denied disability benefits. If SSA determines you are earning under SGA, then they will consider whether your medical conditions are severe enough to interfere with your ability to work. This is a low threshold and easy to get past. SSA will then consider whether your conditions meet one of their listings. SSA listings are conditions which are deemed to be so severe as to automatically qualify you for disability benefits. Most people do not meet a listing and thus would move to the next step, which is considering whether in spite of your conditions you are able to perform your past work. If you are unable to perform your past work, then SSA will determine if there are other jobs in the national economy that you could perform given your limitations.
As you can tell there are a lot of steps in the disability claims process and a lot of analysis that goes into determining your functional capacity. The above list may seem exhaustive, but it is necessary to prove eligibility for the program. So get ahead of the game now. Go collect the above information and gives us a call to help with your application process.