The Social Security Disability Application Process
If you are suffering from a mental or physical condition that is expected to last for at least one year that prevents you from being gainfully employed, you may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. The disability application process is complex and sometimes overwhelming. Moreover, the majority of initial applications are denied, forcing claimants to go through a long appeals process. The assistance of a Fort Wayne disability attorney is imperative in successfully navigating through the disability claim process and getting the benefits to which you are entitled.
Initiating Your Disability Claim
You can apply for Social Security disability benefits in three different ways:
If you choose to apply for SSDI or SSI telephonically, the first step is to call the Social Security Administration (SSA) at 800-772-1213. You will be provided with a date and time when an SSA representative will call you to take the information necessary to complete your application. This application will then be sent to you by mail for a signature.
If you choose to complete the application in person, you will still need to contact 800-772-1213 to schedule an appointment. You will be given directions to your local Social Security office during this call. When you go to your appointment, be sure to bring the appropriate documents.
If you choose to apply by using the Internet, you need to go to www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability/ and follow the directions for preparing and submitting the necessary documents.
The Determination Process
Even though you file your disability application at the Social Security office, it is not evaluated there. Completed disability applications are sent to state disability agencies, known as Disability Determination Services (DDS), where the claims are assigned to specialists known as disability claims examiners. Once the examiner has all the necessary medical evidence, he or she will render the initial decision as to whether you should be awarded Social Security disability benefits. This process can take 90 to 120 days.
For more information about the Social Security disability application process or to schedule a complimentary appointment with a Fort Wayne disability attorney, call our office.