How to Apply for Social Security Disability
As our Sacramento Social Security Attorneys often hear: Applying for Social Security Disability is easy; having an application for Social Security Disability approved is more difficult. The Social Security Administration has made the application process for Social Security very easy. Ironically enough, it is probably this ease of applying that leads to so many denials, as people do not adequately prepare their application.
Where do you apply for Social Security Disability?
There are three easy ways to apply for Social Security Disability. You can apply online, you can call the Social Security office directly (1-800-772-1213), or you can visit a local Social Security Office. The primary Social Security Office serving Sacramento residents is located at 8581 Folsom Boulevard, Sacramento, CA.
However, remember that the “easiest” way is not always the best way. Just picking up the phone and calling a random operator at the Social Security Administration is simple, but rarely is the best option. While the operator may be prepared and helpful, most applicants do not have all of the information available for that phone call. Online applications can be very beneficial because you can pause and look for additional information before proceeding. Likewise, communicating in person at the Social Security Disability has its advantages as well.
What information do you need to initially apply for Social Security Disability?
The information “needed” to apply for Social Security Disability benefits is very limited. The better question is what information should you have and be prepared to provide if you want to have your claim approved? When meeting with a Social Security Representative or making a claim, besides having your Social Security number and evidence of your age (such as a birth certificate, passport, or driver’s license), you should consider have as much of the following as you can assemble:
- The names and contact information for each of your medical providers—such as doctors, caseworkers, and hospitals or clinics;
- Copies of your medical records and test results;
- Employment history, including your employers’ names, addresses, and proof of income (such as W-2 forms, or tax returns if self-employed).
Generally the field office’s primary objective is to verify the non-medical aspects of your eligibility such as age, employment, marital status and work credits. The medical aspect of your disability claim is typically then forward to the offices which are generally referred to as Disability Determination Services or DDSs for short.
The DDS then sifts through the medical evidence you provided, and often tries to obtain additional information form medical providers. The better organized your information is presented, the greater likelihood they can make an informed and intelligent decision. If your information is not organized, then often some of the most important pieces can be overlooked.
When necessary, the DDS may also arrange for a consultative examination (CE). Fortunately, the consultative examination is often done by your own physician, but if they are not cooperative, unresponsive, or potentially unreliable, the DDS may also send you to an independent source for your consultative evaluation.
If you have questions about the application process, or if you have had your application denied and you think you qualify for social security disability, please do not hesitate to contact one of the Social Security Disability Attorneys at Eason & Tambornini for a free consultation.