The purpose of social security disability benefits is to provide financial assistance to individuals who have disabilities. It is not unusual for social security disability claims to be denied on the first go-around – often because they do not contain the necessary documentation. Therefore, if you are filing a claim for social security disability benefits – or if you are appealing a claim denial – there are certain documents that you should always attach in support of your claim.
An experienced social security disability benefits attorney in your area can assist you with applying for the benefits that you need and can assist you with gathering the documents that are necessary for your disability claim to be successful.
How to Apply for Benefits
Applying for disability benefits is a multi-step process. One of the first and most important steps in the process is to gather all of the necessary information – including documentation – for the application. You will then need to fill out the disability application completely and submit it.
Once you submit your application, it will be reviewed thoroughly. As part of this process, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will check to ensure that you have worked the required number of years in order to qualify for the disability benefits. The SSA will also review and evaluate your work activities. Once your application has been processed, it will be forwarded to the Disability Determination Services Office for the state in which you reside. Once this office receives your disability application, it will make the final determination as to whether you are entitled to receive disability benefits.
Documents that You Should Include with Your Disability Application
Part of the disability benefits application process is ensuring that you have the necessary documents attached to your application. When you submit your disability benefits application, you should make sure that you attach the necessary documentation, including the following:
- Your birth certificate or some other legal document that serves as proof of your birth
- If you were engaged in military service prior to 1968, copies of your discharge papers from the United States military
- If you were not born in the United States, proof of your lawful alien status or United States citizenship
- Copies of all 1099 self-employment tax forms and/or W-2 tax forms for the most recent tax year
- Any settlement agreements, pay stubs, award letters, or documentation that show permanent or temporary workers’ compensation benefits you received as a result of becoming injured or ill while on the job – and while working within the scope of your employment
- Copies of all doctor reports, recent lab results, and medical records that you have in your possession
By submitting all of the necessary and relevant documentation with your disability benefits application, you increase your chances that the application will be accepted and that you will recover the benefits that you need. An experienced immigration lawyer in your area can help you submit your application and assemble the necessary documentation to make your benefits application package complete.