Disability benefits paid by the Social Security Administration (SSA) help a person balance the requirements of her finances against her debilitating condition or disease. When making a disability determination, the SSA needs to review the applicant’s medical history in order to ensure that she meets the strict definition of disability. Other basic information is also needed in the application process.
The information required by the SSA helps the disability determination office figure out if an applicant is disabled under the SSA’s strict definition. To be considered for disability benefits, a person must suffer from a serious illness or condition. The severity hinges on the expected duration of the condition and how it affects the worker. No benefits are paid for partial or short-term disability. Specifically, the disability must be expected to last at least one year or result in death and it must prevent the worker from being able to work.
Medical Information and Authorization Forms
The SSA requires two forms for disability benefits: SSA-3368 and SSA-827. These forms require the applicant to provide information about her medical condition and to authorize medical disclosures to the SSA. To make filling out the forms easier, and to help the process in general, applicants should gather all relevant data about their medical condition, including medical bills and opinion letters written by physicians or other medical personnel.
Other Required Information
Additionally, the SSA needs to know basic information about the applicant and her employment history. The worker must be able to provide proof of identification and citizenship, give the SSA her social security number and provide information about her income by submitting W-2 forms and tax returns. If the applicant served in the military, she should gather information regarding the length of service and when she was discharged.
Filing the Claim
There are several ways to apply for disability benefits. Applicants can apply in person, on the phone or over the Internet. Regardless of how an applicant chooses to apply, she should gather all relevant information about her claim in order to expedite the process as much as possible. According to National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives, applicants can apply for benefits on the very day they believe they have become disabled.