Social Security Disability Benefits are available for those who have medical conditions or injuries that prevent them from working for a period of 12 months or longer. In order to qualify, these individuals must have already worked for a predetermined amount of time and have financially contributed to the Social Security program. Additionally, certain family members of those with disabilities may also qualify for benefits and the Social Security Administration makes the application process simple.
The Social Security Administration allows individuals to apply for disability benefits by filling out a general Social Security benefits application either online, in person, or over the phone. This general form must be completed in order for the individual to qualify for disability benefits. In general, it will take three to five months for the Social Security Administration to process and approve the application – to help speed up the process, it is required that the individual provide all required information up front.
Individuals who are 18 years or older, who are not already receiving disability benefits or have not been denied for benefits in the last 60 days, can apply for Social Security assistance online. The Social Security Administration website offers a checklist of required information that the individual must provide in order to apply for and be approved for disability benefits. This information includes their personal and professional information as well as details surrounding the medical conditions or disability present. Additionally, applicants must provide a birth certificate and W-2 form to prove eligibility.
At any time during the online application process, the applicant can save his or her application for completion at a later date. When using the online application process, there is no need to visit the Social Security Administration Office and it is even possible for United States Citizens who are outside of the country to apply online. The Social Security Administration will confirm receipt of the application either by mail or electronically, but decisions on whether benefits are granted will be communicated by mail. The Administration will also notify the applicant if any family members are eligible to receive benefits.
In the case that the Social Security Administration would need more information, it will reach out to the applicant directly. If additional information or records are needed, this will extend the length of time it will take to have the application processed and the benefits granted but will help to ensure that the individual receives the benefits to which he or she is entitled. By providing all the required information either up front or when requested, it can also help to reduce the chances of having to file a benefits appeal.
Representatives from the Social Security Administration are available to help individuals navigate the sometimes-daunting process. Filling out applications online and knowing what information is needed can sometimes be overwhelming, and these professionals can help to explain and streamline the process. It is also possible to gain assistance from a specialized Social Security disability lawyer, should the applicant need to submit and appeal for Social Security disability benefits.