If you can’t work and earn an income because of a disability, you may apply for Social Security disability benefits through the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). If you qualify for benefits, you’ll receive financial assistance helping you cover the cost of your basic needs.
An application must include thorough evidence to demonstrate to the SSA that you meet all eligibility requirements. The following overview explains how to begin gathering said evidence.
Collect Evidence From Your Doctor
You will need to provide medical evidence confirming you have a disability that prevents you from working when you apply for disability benefits. Gathering this evidence will require coordinating with your doctor.
Specifically, you may have to ask your doctor to supply you with:
- Thorough medical records documenting the history of your condition and its progression
- Documentation of any specialists you have seen
- Documentation of hospital stays
- Documentation of emergency room visits
- Diagnostic test results
- A list of medications you have taken
- Documentation of your participation in physical therapy or similar rehabilitative programs, if applicable
- Reports from mental health professionals, social workers, or other such professionals, if applicable
Be aware that you don’t need to gather all this documentation yourself. If you hire a disability attorney to assist you with your application, they could help you gather it.
Seek Medical Attention From “Acceptable Medical Sources”
The SSA’s Blue Book lists the conditions that qualify applicants for disability benefits. You may consult it when first determining whether you have a condition that meets the SSA’s eligibility criteria.
A Blue Book listing might also provide information about “Acceptable Medical Sources” from whom you should seek care. Seeing these types of medical professionals could improve your chances of receiving an approval when you apply for benefits.
Continue To Seek Treatment
Continuing to undergo treatment demonstrates to the SSA that you’re making a genuine attempt to recover from your condition. The SSA wants to confirm that applicants are not seeking benefits they may not deserve because they are intentionally attempting to remain disabled.
Get Testing Done Required By The Blue Book
Along with describing the conditions that may qualify applicants for disability benefits, the Blue Book also sometimes explains whether applicants with certain conditions must undergo any particular forms of testing. Check the listing for your condition and undergo any required testing accordingly.
Fill Out A SSA-827
The SSA-827 is a form granting the SSA permission to access your medical records and information. You may access and complete the form online.
Get Help With Your Claim
Again, you don’t need to gather all necessary documentation on your own when putting together a thorough application for Social Security disability benefits. While you focus on your health, a disability lawyer could focus on gathering evidence on your behalf.
Additionally, a lawyer’s services may prove valuable if the SSA denies your initial application. A lawyer may help you with an appeal in these circumstances. Fill out the Free Case Evaluation to get connected with an independent disability attorney who may be able to help with your case.