The Social Security Disability Application Process

If you become disabled and your condition is expected to last for at least one year (or end in death), consider applying for Social Security Disability benefits. The sooner you start the application process, the less time you will have to wait for your benefits. The process can take a long time and require intensive documentation. It may be necessary to appeal a negative decision. The help of an attorney from The Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller in Buffalo, New York, can guide you through the complex and demanding process.

When to File

To qualify for benefits, a person must be disabled for a minimum of 12 consecutive months. Thus, it may not be a good idea for a person to file an application for benefits as soon as he or she becomes unable to work. If a person files long before the end of the 12-month period, it may be difficult to prove that the disability will last for at least one full year. The initial decision can take a number of months. If your claim is denied — which happens in a large majority of cases — the time it takes to appeal can last a year, two years or longer, depending on where you live. It is often wise to start early.

Where to File

To apply for Social Security Disability benefits, you need to complete an application and an Adult Disability Report (or a Child Disability Report, if you are applying on behalf of your child). You may fill out the application and report on the Social Security Administration’s Web site, on the telephone or in person at a Social Security office.

Information You Will Need

The Social Security Disability application and report will ask for your work history and your medical history. Your medical history includes the doctors you have visited for your disability, the medications you have taken and the medical records that are in your possession. You will need to sign a release so that Social Security may speak with your doctors and review your medical history.

If you have an appointment with Social Security but you do not have all the information you think you will need, Social Security advises that you keep the appointment anyway. The employees will assist you in gathering the rest of the information.

You may be required to undergo a medical examination at no cost to you. It is important to attend this appointment in order to keep the process moving along and provide Social Security with the information it needs.

Consult an Attorney

The application process for Social Security Disability benefits may seem intimidating. The more information you have and the earlier you begin, however, the sooner you may qualify for benefits. An attorney from The Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller in Buffalo, New York, can answer your Social Security Disability benefits questions and help you through the qualification process.

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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