Filing for Disability Benefits? 3 Common Questions You May Have

22 April 2019
 Categories: , Blog


Whether you have suffered a debilitating injury or chronic illness, maintaining employment can be difficult. Not only may you struggle to work, but you will also struggle to provide for your family and pay for basic living expenses. Thankfully, social security disability benefits are available if you qualify. Of course, navigating the process of applying for these benefits can be challenging, but help is available. Here are a few questions to ask before applying for social security disability benefits.

Are You Really Disabled?

Your physical or emotional wellness may be preventing you from working and earning an income. However, your medical/mental issue may not actually qualify you for disability benefits. Before you apply for the benefits, you need to learn if your condition will qualify you as disabled.

It is important to note that your condition must be severe enough to prevent you from performing simple tasks, such as lifting, standing, walking, and even remembering. You must also prove that you've had the disability for at least 12 months to qualify.

There is also a set list of conditions that qualify. If your condition is not on the list, further evaluation will be conducted to determine if you are actually disabled. Each person's case is different so meeting with an attorney is wise if you are not sure whether your condition would qualify you as disabled.

When Should You File?

Once you learn you are, in fact, disabled, you can start the process of filing. The application process is not simple or quick, so it is best to begin the process immediately. In many instances, it can take numerous months for the application to be approved. Then, there will be a period of time to wait before you start receiving the actual financial benefits. If your application is denied, appealing it will require more time.

What Documents Are Necessary?

An improper application is a common reason why disability applications are denied. To reduce your risk of a denial or delay, make sure you have the appropriate documents before applying. You will need to provide evidence that you are a citizen, so a birth certificate or proof of status documentation is essential. W-2s to prove your income will also be helpful. If you are self-employed, copies of your most recent tax returns are needed.

Proof of your medical issues is also important. Medical records and proof of medical expenses, such as receipts and bills, should be included with your application. 

To ensure your disability benefits are in order, contact services such as Attorney John B. Martin Law Offices.