You have a condition that is preventing you from working. You’ve heard about Social Security Disability. You want to file a claim but have no idea how to start.
Starting a Claim
Set up an appointment to file a claim with your local office. You can file this claim in person, by phone or online. Go to https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp and type in your zip code to find your local office to find out where to go. Call 800-772-1213 to set up an appointment. When you speak with the representative, you can indicate your preference to file a claim in person or by phone. You can also file your claim online by going to www.ssa.gov and file a claim for social security disability.
How you answer the questions posed may have a direct bearing on whether you are found disabled. Kraft Law Offices has vast experience representing disability claimants from the inception of the claim to assure you fully understand the significance of the questions asked. Having an attorney represent you on your disability claim can increase your odds of getting approved.
What can I expect during the appointment?
A Social Security representative will interview you and complete an application for disability benefits and an Adult Disability Report. The interview will take place either in your local Social Security office or by telephone.
An attorney is recommended at this stage to assure all of your responses are in support of your claim for disability. Proceeding on your own may result in a failure to understand the legal significance of each question which may result in a denial of your social security disability claim.
What can I do to speed up the process?
You can cut your interview time in half by starting the process online. You can complete the application for benefits and the disability report online by going to www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability. You can also speed things up by bringing to your office appointment the information listed on the checklist social security will provide in the mail.
If you have an appointment by telephone, the representative may ask you to provide any required checklist items.
An attorney is recommended at this stage to assure all of your responses are in support of your claim for disability. Proceeding on your own may result in a failure to understand the legal significance of each question which may result in a denial of your claim.
What happens after I file my claim?
Social Security will make a determination if you are disabled. By law, Social Security has a very strict definition of disability. In short, to be found disabled:
• You must be unable to do any substantial work because of your severe medical condition(s);
• Your medical condition(s) must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least 1 year, or be expected to result in your death.
In order to prove disability, you must be able to establish what your Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) is. This is what you are able to do despite your limitations. Our firm provides forms to our clients which help determine their RFC. The forms provide the Social Security Administration with a basis to decide your claim. Completion of the same will provide strong evidence of your disability.
How long does it take to get a decision?
Generally, it takes about 3 to 5 months to get a decision. However, the exact time depends on how long it takes to get your medical records and any other evidence needed to make a decision. Kraft Law Offices assists in this regard.
How is a decision made?
Social Security will send your application to a state agency that makes disability decisions. The state has medical and vocational experts who will contact your doctors and other places where you received treatment to get your medical records. The state agency may send you forms to complete or ask you to have an examination or medical test. If the state does request an examination, make sure you keep the appointment.
Kraft Law Offices assists in completing these forms and how to approach the consultative examination. We provide a detailed explanation on the significance of what is being asked by the Administration and what will occur during the examination and how best to approach it.
You cannot get social security disability benefits solely because: (1) your doctor says you are disabled; or (2) you are getting disability payments from your job or another agency. Social Security disability laws are different from most other programs. Kraft Law Offices is well versed in Social Security Disability Law and knows what evidence needs to be submitted.
If Social Security decides that I am disabled,
what types of benefits can I receive?
Social Security pays disability benefits under two programs:
• Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for insured workers, their disabled surviving spouses, and children (disabled before age 22) of disabled, retired, or deceased workers.
• Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for people with little or no income and resources.