July 20, 2017, by Dixie Somers – Filing for disability insurance through Social Security can be a complex process, and it’s not uncommon for applicants to be rejected the first time and have to appeal before getting accepted. With these five strategies, you can help make the application process go more smoothly when you need to apply for Social Security.
1. Have Your Paperwork in Order
Documentation is a large part of the Social Security application process, so having important paperwork organized is a must. This includes your original birth certificate, citizenship or naturalization papers, last’s year’s W2 IRS form, the name and address of your employer(s) for this year and last year, information about your spouse if you are married, and much more. Also, request copies of medical records, bring worker’s compensation records if applicable, and list any medications you are taking. You may also want to consult an attorney who specializes in disability claims, such as Glen Cook Social Security Attorney.
2. Apply Online
While you can apply for Social Security disability benefits at your local office or on the phone, the easiest way to do so is on the official website of the Social Security Administration. Applying online allows you to begin your claim immediately without waiting for an appointment. You can also save the application and finish it later if you need more time. You can even sign the medical release form online; this allows doctors to release your records to the Social Security Administration.
3. Know the Appeal Deadlines
If your application for disability benefits is not approved, you have the right to appeal. However, it is critical to appeal within the designated time period: 60 days of receiving your decision letter from Social Security denying you benefits. Form SSA-3341 to request a hearing with an administrative law judge must be filed by this deadline or you may permanently lose your right to appeal.
4. Understand Your Rights as a Veteran
If you are a veteran who became disabled during active military duty on or after October 1, 2001, your Social Security disability application will be expedited. To qualify, apply online at http://socialsecurity.gov/woundedwarriors. You can do so at any time during or after your service, even if you are hospitalized or undergoing inpatient or outpatient rehab.
5. Be Aware of Income Limits
If you are currently working, it may be advisable to quit your job or substantially reduce your hours before applying for benefits. Currently, if you earn more than $1,170 per month you will not be considered for disability through Social Security. This includes unemployment income if applicable.
Although the process of applying for disability through the Social Security Administration can be daunting, following these tips can make it a bit easier.
AUTHOR BIO: This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write about business, finance, careers, and education. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.