Social Security disability benefits help many individuals maintain their quality of life in spite of job loss, illness, or permanent injury. However, the process to qualify for Social Security disability can seem daunting, especially for individuals without any legal experience.
Understanding what’s expected of you during the application process can help you feel calm and confident. In this blog, we list the documents and records you may be required to provide and the forms you may be asked to fill out. This paperwork falls under four main categories: medical history, official forms, personal information, and work history.
Your Social Security disability claim must be based on specific medical needs. As part of the qualifying process, you must provide documentation of your relevant diagnoses and any treatment you have received.
Required documentation includes:
- Detailed records of your medication regimen, including dosage and observed side effects
- Reports or imaging that document your condition, such as radiologist findings and MRI images
- Residual functional capacity (RFC) assessments regarding your physical and mental condition
- The names, practice information, and contact information of each physician or specialist you see
If you see health care professionals for conditions that are not relevant to your claim, you do not need to include any information about those physicians or your treatment under their care.
Generally, you must fill out two primary forms during the qualification process, the application and an
Adult Disability Report.
In addition to the information listed in the other sections of this blog, the Social Security disability application asks for general information. You must list the dates and locations of your marriage(s) and/or divorce(s), provide your bank information such as an electronic routing number, and disclose your educational history.
Adult Disability Report
The Adult Disability Report asks for more detailed information about the records you provide. You must answer every question, but you may have a trusted helper write the answers in if you are unable to do so. You should answer with “not applicable” or “none” instead of leaving any space blank on the form.
These forms are available both online and at your local Social Security Administration office.
To verify your identity and your current life situation, you may be required to provide personal information records. These records include the following:
- Military service paperwork
- Proof of birth, such as a birth certificate
- Proof of citizenship, such as naturalization papers
- Social Security card
- Spouse and dependents’ information, including names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers
Not all applicants are required to provide the entire list of documents listed above, so consult with your lawyer to determine which records you need to collect.
Work and Income History
Your work and income history for the last 15 years may be considered during the qualification process. You may be asked to provide any of the following documentation:
- An itemized list of your assets, excluding the land you live on and your primary vehicle
- Last year’s tax return
- The name and contact information of your current or most recent employer
- Your Social Security statement, which includes information about your earnings and your projected benefits
Your lawyer can help you determine what work and income information is relevant to these proceedings.
As you work on filing for Social Security disability benefits, rely on an experienced lawyer. Your legal counsel can help you put together the necessary paperwork, fill out forms correctly, and file in compliance with all requirements.
Learn more about the services offered by the Social Security disability lawyers at Horn & Kelley, P.C. Attorneys at Law on our Social Security disability claims page.