Filing for social security disability benefits requires that the applicant present the following documentation:
- Social security number
- Birth certificate
- A completed Adult Disability Report. This report details the applicant’s illnesses, injuries, conditions, and work history. A copy of the report can be downloaded from the SSA website.
- Medical records, laboratory and test results, list of medications, and doctor’s reports.
- Contact information of all the medical personnel that provided care or advised the client of their condition. This may include but is not limited to, doctors, clinics, hospitals, social workers, and therapists.
- Copy of the applicant’s most recent W-2 Form or Tax Return
- Any available form of compensation that the applicant may have received, such as award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements, temporary or permanent workers’ compensation benefits.
- Form DD-214 (U.S. Military discharge papers) if the applicant is a military veteran
If the applicant cannot present some of the requirements listed above, it is strongly recommended that they reach out to SSA, as they may be able to assist. Moreover, photocopies can be submitted with the SSA, provided that they can examine the original documentation.
How Can I File for Social Security Disability Benefits?
An applicant can file for social security disability benefits with the Social Administration (SSA) online, by telephone, or in person.
By visiting the SSA website, selecting Disability Benefits, and clicking the “Apply For Disability” button.
By calling the SSA national toll-free service number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm between Monday to Friday.
By visiting one of the 26 SSA field offices across Indiana. At this time, the SSA field offices in Indiana allow walk-in visitors. However, they do encourage visitors to call ahead and schedule an appointment.
How Long Does the Social Security Disability Benefits Application Take?
Generally, the process takes about three months. However, this timeline is not guaranteed as the SSA thoroughly verifies all of the information provided. It is also possible that the SSA will ask for additional information from the applicant or the applicant’s medical team. Moreover, the SSA may request the applicant undergo an additional medical examination to evaluate the injury or condition further. The SSA generally pays for the medical tests they specifically request.
Can I Appeal If the SSA Denies My Social Security Disability Benefits Application?
Yes, an applicant can appeal the decision within sixty (60) days of the SSA’s denial of the application. However, it is strongly recommended that you seek the legal representation of a reliable lawyer well-versed in social security disability matters to ensure that you do not miss the deadline and that the best possible appeal to the case is presented.
It is also important to note that over 70% of applications for social security disability benefits are denied. Thus, it is crucial to seek the guidance of a reputable lawyer specializing in this area of law in the filing and appeal stage.