If you suffer from a disabling medical condition that limits your ability to work, you may have already looked into the process for obtaining benefits under the federal Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. A quick assessment tells you that you must complete some forms but, as you do a more thorough review, you will soon see that applying for monetary benefits far more complex. This is often the case when it comes to filing an insurance claim, which is essentially what you are doing. With SSDI, your “premiums” are amounts you paid through mandatory contributions taken from your paycheck. Now that you are disabled, you need to file a claim to access these funds – by working with the Social Security Administration (SSA) instead of a private insurer.
Just as an insurance company needs sufficient information to pay out under a policy, SSA requires a great deal of information before approving your application. Many people are not prepared for the challenges, which is why up to a third of all initial applications are rejected. You can increase your chances of quick approval by working with a South Carolina Social Security disability attorney who will ensure your documents are in order. Still, it may be helpful to review the four things you need when applying for SSDI– and one that you do NOT.
- Full Work History: Because your benefits are linked to the premiums you pay through your paycheck, SSA will need to review your work history for purposes of eligibility. You must have accumulated a certain number of work credits in the years before you begin applying for SSDI, though the exact number depends on your age when you first became disabled. Plus, your work history contains information about your previous occupations, which enables the disability examiner to assign a proper work classification.
- Meticulous Medical Records: SSA needs exhaustive information about your disabling illness or ailment, so your application for Social Security disability must include all medical records and details. You will need documentation that was generated in connection with:
- Emergency room visits
- Doctor’s appointments
- Treatment from specialists
- Lab screenings and test results
- Details on Alleged Onset of Disability: For purposes of your SSDI application, AOD is the date you are claiming that your disability began and rendered you unable to work. It affects your benefits because SSA may issue payments back to this date, which could be several months before you file your application and/or obtain approval from SSA.
- Established Onset of Disability: The other side of AOD is EOD – i.e., the date SSA finds that your disability began. The date may be different from what you allege in your application, but the gap between AOD and EOD does affect your eligibility for backpay. If you do not have sufficient documentation to prove your AOD, you could miss out on benefits because SSA will use the EOD
What You Do NOT Need
You will not need to supply any information about your income and assets when applying for SSDI. Your net worth is only important if you are applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a needs-based program. Being a type of insurance that you pay for through wages, eligibility for SSDI does not hinge on your financial situation.
Our South Carolina SSDI Lawyers Provide the Legal Support You Need
At Powers Law, LLC, our team is dedicated to assisting you with all aspects of the claims process, particularly the all-important applying for SSDI benefits. For more information on eligibility and essential paperwork, please contact our office in Greenwood, SC to set up a consultation today.