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Arizona Social Security Disability Blog

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Process of Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits

What are the steps that must be taken to apply for SSD benefits?

The process of applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can be a daunting one, particularly since it comes at a time when you are at a low ebb due to chronic illness or traumatic injury. This is why it is important to engage the services of a reputable disability attorney to guide you through the process.

Who can apply for disability benefits?

If you have a physical or psychological impairment that affects your ability to work on a full-time basis you can apply for Social Security Disability benefits.  You must be able to show that your severe impairment(s) have lasted for, or can be expected to last for at least 12 months.

At retirement age, the benefits continue, but are reclassified as retirement benefits.

When should you apply for SSD benefits?

It's always best to apply for benefits as soon as you become disabled.  Waiting to apply could cause you to lose out on potential benefits that could be rightfully paid to you. If your conditions prevent you from working, do not unnecessarily delay your application.

What documents are needed to apply for disability benefits?

Before applying for disability benefits, you should have all your ducks in a row, including all of the following documents that pertain in your case:

• Birth certificate or Permanent Resident Card Number
• Marriage and (if applicable) divorce papers
• Names and birth dates of children who became disabled before the age of 22, are under age 18 and unmarried, or are age 18 to19 and attending school full time
• Papers pertaining to military service
• Social Security number
• Name of place  and dates of employment for prior 2 years
• Statement of total earnings
• Bank account numbers for domestic and international accounts
• Bank information for direct deposit
• List of medical conditions
• Names and contact information for all of your doctors
• Complete information about medical tests taken 
• Complete list of prescribed medications
• Information about all completed education and vocational training

As if this weren't enough, applicants for Social Security benefits may be asked to provide additional information after they submit their application.

Once you are approved for disability benefits, will they continue throughout your lifetime?

While some conditions are chronic or progressive, some types of disability may be temporary, although they are long-term. Regular reviews of your condition will be made to determine whether you are still entitled to Social Security benefits.

As is obvious from the above materials, getting SSD benefits is a complex and often overwhelming process, a process during which the assistance of a capable disability attorney is invaluable.


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