Social Security’s Disability Insurance Benefits are government funded and issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Social security pays disability benefits to you and specific family members if you have worked for a long time and have a medical condition that hinders you from working for a year or will likely end in death. Studies indicate that a 20-year-old job holder has a 1-in-4 chance of becoming disabled before their full retirement age. This si why they ill need to apply for disability.
An advance designation is a form of representation allowing emancipated minors and a capable adult applying for or receiving Special Veterans Benefits, Supplemental Security Income, or Social Security Benefits the option to select up to three people who can act as the payee when the need arises.
Helping a loved one apply for disability insurance can be an exhausting and challenging process. We delve deep into several considerations to help your loved one apply for disability benefits.
1. Ensure Your Loved One Fits the Eligibility Criterion for Social Security Insurance Benefits
The government provides that for someone to be eligible for disability benefits, they must:
- Be unable to work as a direct result of a medical condition that is likely to last for at least 12 months and is likely to cause death.
- Not have a short-term partial disability.
- Meet the SSA’s definition of disability.
- Be younger than the full retirement age.
- Be above 18 years old.
- Not be currently enrolled for benefits on your Social Security record.
- Have been on disability benefits for the last 60 days.
If a person qualifies for disability benefits, specific family members could be eligible for benefits depending on the person’s work record.
Review the SSA’s Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool to determine whether you or your loved one qualifies for Social Security’s benefit programs.
2. Get the Right Information Before You Apply for Disability Benefits
We recommend you have the following information ready before completing the application process.
Information About You
- Your place of birth, data, Social Security Number
- Name, date of birth, and Social Security number of your current spouse or a former spouse.
- Names and dates of birth of your children
- Bank or financial institution’s Routing Transit Number and similar information if you wish to receive the benefits electronically.
Information on Your Medical Condition
- The name, phone number, and address of someone who can be contacted about your medical condition and may help with the application
- Detailed information about specific injuries, medical illnesses, or any other conditions
Provide Information About Your Work
- The amount of money earned in the previous and current year
- Employer(s) name and address for the previous and current year
- Social Security Statement copy
- The commencement and ending dates for active military service if you served before 1968
- Lists of jobs (approximately 5) held in about 15 years before you became unable to work
- Information on worker’s compensation, black lung, or any similar benefits. Please review the SSA’s site for more details on specific information requirements.
3. Assemble Specific Documents to Affirm Your Eligibility for Disability Benefits
The SSA may ask you to provide the documents below to prove your eligibility. These may include:
- Birth certificate or any other proof of birth
- Proof of lawful alien status or U.S citizenship if you were not born in the U.S [more info]
- Medical evidence in your possession, including recent test results, doctors’ reports, and medical records
- U.S military discharge records if you were in the military before 1968
- W-2 forms or/and self-employment tax returns for the previous year
- Lastly, settlement agreements, pay stubs, award letters, or any other proof of permanent or temporary workers’ compensation benefits
Please include the social security number on a separate sheet if you mail your documents to the SSA so they can match your information with the proper application.
4. Consider the Online Process to Apply for Disability
The online application process could save you a lot of time if you do not wish to visit the Social Security offices or mail your documents. You can initiate your disability claim immediately because there is no waiting time for appointments. It helps you avoid making trips to the Social Security office. You can complete the process online even if you have traveled from the United States.
Follow the following steps to apply online:
- Visit the Social Security’s Apply for Benefits page. Read and agree to the Terms of Service, then click “Next.”
- Review provisions in the “Getting Ready” section of the same page to ensure you have the correct information to complete the process.
- Select “Start A New Application”.
- Respond to several questions about who is completing the application.
- Sign in to the Social Security account or create one if it is not active.
- Lastly, complete the application.
You can also file online for the SSI during the same time you apply for SSDI benefits. A Social Security representative will contact you if they need additional information, even after completing the online application process described above.
5. Consider Alternative Processes to Apply for Disability
There are several ways you can apply for disability benefits. First, you can use the local office, especially if you cannot access the online services. Find the number for the local office through the Office Locator under the Social Security Office Information. Second, you can apply via phone by calling 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) during the specified timelines. If you are not living in the United States or any of its territories, contact the Federal Benefits Unit for your Country of Residence. Finally, you can mail your documents to the agency.
Applying for disability benefits can be an exhausting and challenging process. Complete the disability benefits application process by following the tips above and gain the relief you or your loved one deserves. Venture Foundation is here to help you and your loved ones. We solicit and disburse funds to support people with developmental challenges and own property for these reasons. We also solicit funds from fundraising programs and events, private or corporate foundations, charitable trusts, and private citizens.