|Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits|
If you have a physical or mental condition that keeps you from earning substantial wages, you should consider filing for Social Security disability benefits. You must have a condition that will last at least 12 months or end in death. Social Security does not pay partial or temporary disability benefits
You can file a disability application online at www.socialsecurity.gov or call the Toll free number, 1-800-772-1213 and schedule either an in-office appointment or a telephone appointment. You can visit the local office without an appointment, but you could experience a very long wait.
Expect the interview to last about 1-1 ½ hours. You can take some of the stress out of your interview by being well prepared. Have ready, the names and addresses of your doctors and hospitals, as well as the dates you first and last visited the doctors, and the dates of inpatientand outpatient visits to the hospitals. Also, have ready the names of your medications, the doctor who prescribed them, and the side effects you experience from the medications.
If you have done any work since your condition first bothered you, Social Security will need your work information. This information includes the names of your employers, the dates of employment, the name of your immediate supervisor and the reason you stopped working at each job. This information could help Social Security to determine the date your condition really became disabling if there is no definite date of an accident or injury.
Your disability claim has two parts. One is to determine if you meet the work requirements under the Social Security system and the second is to determine if you meet the medical requirements. The medical portion is decided by a state agency. It could take about four months for you to get a decision on your claim.
If your claim is not approved, it is recommended that you file your appeals.
By Kathy Pelzel