What Documentation Do I Need for Social Security Disability Claims?

social security disability documents

If you have been diagnosed with a physical or mental disability that will last for more than one year and will prohibit you from working full-time and supporting yourself, you may be eligible for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is in charge of the Social Security disability program and provides assistance to people who meet the criteria. Social Security disability pays benefits for you and certain family members if are considered “insured,” which means you’ve worked long enough and paid enough into Social Security.

The SSA defines disability as:

  • Not being able to complete the work you did previously
  • Not being able to adjust to different work because of your medical condition(s)
  • A condition that is expected to last for at least one year or result in death

Applying to Social Security disability benefits can be a time-consuming and involved process, but ultimately worth it if you cannot support yourself otherwise.

Needed Documentation

As part of your application for Social Security Disability, you will need to provide a variety of documents regarding your history and evidence that you do have a serious medical issue. Proof is crucial to obtaining an approval.

The SSA will ask you for

  • Your birth certificate or proof of your birth
  • W-3 forms of self-employment tax returns
  • U.S. citizenship proof or lawful alien status
  • U.S. military discharge papers if you served before 1968
  • Award letters, settlement agreements, pay stubs or proof of temporary or permanent workers’ compensation benefits received
  • An adult disability report with more details about your injuries, illnesses, work history and conditions, which can be completed online
  • Medical records, doctor’s reports and test results

The more detailed documentation you can provide, the better your chances are at getting your application approved the first time. If you are denied; however, you can go through an appeals process to try and get the denial turned around.

Hire a Lawyer

If this process sounds like it may be a bit tricky to navigate, it’s because it can be. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to hire a lawyer who specializes in helping people apply for SSD benefits. Social Security attorneys are well versed in what is required with an application and what can make or break a claim, so they can steer you in the right direction and increase you chance of getting approved the first time you apply for Social Security Disability benefits.

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