The decision to file for Social Security Disability is often one problem with worry. Applicants worry about whether they'll be approved, about whether their application is complete, about whether they've provided enough evidence, about how long it will take to get a decision, and more. For some, the Social Security Disability application is filed as a last ditch effort, after a long period of struggling to survive and support themselves while disabled. Many of them do not have any back-up plans, and are in desperate need of the help Social Security Disability benefits will provide to them until they're well enough to work again. In these cases, it's more important than ever that their initial application be as strong as possible.
How Can I Ensure My Social Security Disability Application Is Strong?
When you apply for SSDI or SSI disability benefits, the application requests about your medical condition, work and education history. All of the information will be considered as the application is reviewed and an initial decision is reached. There are also certain documents that help establish your eligibility for disability around identity, in particular pay attention to the two forms that describe your medical condition and authorize disclosure of information to the SSA. In addition, document about your identity are required. These documents include:
– Birth certificate or other proof of birth
– Naturalization papers
– US military discharge paper (s)
– W-2 forms (s) and / or self-employment tax returns for last year.
Aside from these documents, the more information you can provide about your disability, the better. If you've deleted a record or diary of your symptoms and how they've affected your life, that's a valuable piece of evidence towards your disability, and it should be included.
Why Is the Initial Application So Important?
The SSA, though they're working to improve it, has quite a backlog of cases. If your initial application is denied, it could take you up to 3 years of appeals and hearings to get a really final answer. In their efforts to improve the process, the SSA is introducing new technology that will help accelerate approval for those who seem to qualify. Quick Disability Determination (QDD) uses a predictive model to analyze certain elements of data within the electronic claims file to identify claims where there is a high potential that the claimant is disabled and where evidence of the person's allegations can be quickly and easily obtained. The QDD was tested in the Northeast in 2007, and allowed 3% of new cases to be completed in as few as 11 days. Arizona, New Jersey and North Dakota were the next to pick up the new technology, and it's continued to be added to other states across the country.
This means that if your application is complete, you may be identified by the QDD and have your application fast-tracked through the system. Without a thorough application, there's no chance of this happening, and you may have to wait a significant amount of time for your final decision.
How Can I Get Help with My Social Security Disability Application?
Disability lawyers are a big help in this regard – their experience with understanding SSDI and SSI requirements allows them to quickly identify any areas of the SSDI or SSI disability application that might halt its progress. A disability lawyer will be able to advise applicants of what kinds of information the application is missing, as well as help them work with medical professionals to access the necessary evidence to support their claims.