Applying for Social Security Disability is just the start of what may be a months-long wait for an initial decision. Because it can take several months to receive that decision, it’s important to apply early. But it’s also critical to retain an experienced Oklahoma disability attorney who can help ensure that you apply correctly. You can count on Ascend Disability Lawyers, LLC to work with you each step of the way.
Preparing to Apply for Social Security Disability
Submitting an application for Social Security Disability (SSDI) takes time and patience. Since there is such a high denial rate for applicants, it’s critical that you present the strongest possible claim.
Your first step should be to gather all relevant documents that will show the Social Security Administration (SSA) why you need disability. These are not just medical records, either. The SSA recommends that applicants collect the following:
- Birth certificate or other proof of birth, which will help substantiate the applicant’s age
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status
- Military discharge paper(s) if you had U.S. military service before 1968
- W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax returns for the previous year
- An Adult Disability Report, available through the SSA, that includes details about your illnesses, injuries or conditions, and work history
- Medical evidence already in your possession, such as medical records, doctors’ reports, and recent test results
- Award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements, and other proof of any temporary or permanent workers’ compensation-type benefits you received
Your Oklahoma SSDI benefits lawyer can advise you on what role these documents will play in your application. It’s also a good idea to collect anything else that could prove the nature of your disability. As an example, you may want to ask for statements about your condition from friends, family, and co-workers.
Understanding SSDI and the SSA’s Disability Rules
As you prepare your application, your lawyer will explain the rules that apply to SSDI claims. This includes advising you whether your condition is included in the SSA’s list of impairments. These are conditions that are so severe they’re considered to prevent an applicant from engaging in SGA (substantial gainful activity).
However, even if your condition is not on this list, you may still be eligible if it prevents you from working.
Our goal is to ensure our clients understand the SSA disability rules and what to expect in applying. We can also assist if you’ve already had your application for disability denied. We can help you take the steps needed to appeal the denial.
Applying for SSDI and Waiting for Your Decision
An Oklahoma Social Security Disability attorney can ensure this step is properly completed. Doing so is vital because an incomplete or inaccurate application will result in a claim delay or denial. The same may happen if your claim is submitted incorrectly to the SSA. Certain individuals, such as surviving spouses with disabilities, may not be allowed to apply for benefits online.
After you submit your application, the SSA will examine and process your claim. It may take anywhere from three to six months for you to receive an initial decision. If your application is incomplete, it may take even longer. But if your application is ultimately denied, we can help you appeal. We will also work with you to respond to any requests for additional information the SSA may send you.
Are You Ready to Apply for Disability Benefits?
We encourage you to contact us with questions or concerns regarding the Social Security Disability application process. When you’re ready to get started, we’re here to assist you. Let the dedicated team at Ascend Disability Lawyers, LLC handle your claim. Call us now to learn more.